Hawai`i’s Unemployment 2.8 Percent in April

The Hawai`i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations on Thursday announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 2.8 percent, the same as in March. Statewide, 651,450 were employed and 19,000 unemployed in April for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 670,450. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in April, compared to 3.8 percent in March.

Both initial claims and weeks claims decreased by 162 or -12.1 percent and by 434 or -6.1 percent respectively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago.  Over-the-month both initial claims and weeks claims also declined by -20.4 percent and -2.3 percent respectively in April 2019.

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 2.8 percent in April, compared to the revised rate of 2.9 percent in March.

In Hawai`i County, unemployment was at 3.8 percent in April. The unemployment number in the county has increased by 1.3 percent compared to the same time last year.

In a separate measure of employment, there was an increase of 1,200 total nonagricultural jobs in April over March. Among the major industries, job gains were experienced in Leisure & Hospitality (+1,100), Construction (+500), Professional & Business Services (+200), Education & Health Services (+200), and Manufacturing (+100).  Within Leisure & Hospitality, the job gains were evenly split between Accommodation and Food Services & Drinking Places.  Employment in Information remained unchanged.  Job losses occurred in Other Services (-100), Financial Activities (-400), and in Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (-700).  Job contraction in Retail Trade was responsible for the bulk of the decrease in Trade, Transportation, & Utilities.  Government rose by 300 jobs.  Compared with one year ago, total nonfarm jobs have expanded by 3,800, or 0.6 percent.