Unemployment Rate Remains at Two Percent

The Hawai`i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations on Thursday announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 2.0 percent, the same as in April. Statewide, 672,800 were employed and 13,950 unemployed in May for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 686,750. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in May, compared to 3.9 percent in April.

Initial claims increased by 36 or 2.8 percent and weeks claims decreased by 676 or -8.7 percent respectively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago.  Over-the-month initial claims grew by 16.3 percent while weeks claims dropped by -2.4 percent respectively in April 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 (BLS) methodology.

The not seasonally adjusted rate for the State was also 2.0 percent in May, compared to the 1.9 percent in April.

In another measure of employment, there was a gain of 1,800 non-agricultural jobs over-the-month. Within the major sectors, there was job expansion in Construction (+600), Professional & Business Services (+500), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (+400), Information (+100), and Other Services (+100). Employment in Financial Activities and Leisure & Hospitality remained unchanged. Job losses were experienced in Manufacturing (-200) and Education & Health Services (-300). Government employment went up by 600 jobs, primarily due to seasonal variation in the Department of Education and the University of Hawaii system. Over-the-year, total nonfarm jobs have increased by 11,300, or 1.7 percent.