Unemployment Rate Holds at 2.1 Percent in February

The Hawai`i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations on Thursday announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 2.1 percent, the same as in January.

Statewide, 669,400 were employed and 14,050 unemployed in February for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 683,500. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in February, also the same as in January.

Both initial claims and weeks claims decreased by 11 or -0.9 percent and by 320 or -3.9 percent respectively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago.  Over-the-month both initial claims and weeks claims also declined by -16.1 percent -6.5 percent respectively in February 2018.

The unemployment rate figures for the State of Hawaii and the U.S. in this release are seasonally adjusted, in accordance with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics methodology. The not seasonally adjusted rate for the State was 1.9 percent in February, compared to 2.1 percent in January.

In a separate measure of employment, in February over January, there was an increase of 2,300 jobs. Within the major sectors, job gains were experienced in Professional & Business Services (+1,300), Educational & Health Services (+500), Manufacturing (+100), Leisure & Hospitality (+100), and Other Services (+100).  Within the Professional & Business Services, the bulk of the job expansion was spread out over several subsectors of Administrative & Support & Waste Management & Remediation Services.  Employment in the Information sector remained stable. Jobs losses occurred in Construction (-100), Financial Activities (-100), and Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (-400). Government employment went up by 800 jobs, with most of the rise in the University of Hawaii System.

Compared with February 2017, total nonfarm jobs have expanded by 8,900, or 1.4 percent