County’s jobless rate on the rise

Maui County’s unemployment rate for June rose 0.7 percentage points to 5.4 percent, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

The jobless rates by island in the county, which had been a part of the monthly statistics, were not available for June. Funding cuts that took effect at the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1 have left the department without staff to compile those individual island numbers, said Phyllis Dayao of the labor department Thursday.

The Maui County number, which still was much lower than the 7.2 percent unemployment rate in June 2012, was not seasonally adjusted. Seasonal adjustments account for fluctuations of employed and unemployed people that reflect hiring and layoffs that occur from regular activities, such as the winter holidays or summer vacations. Seasonal adjustments aid in month-to-month comparisons.

The statewide seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 4.6 percent for June – the first time that percentage has dropped that low since September 2008 at the beginning of the Great Recession. June’s rate was down from 4.7 percent in May.

The national seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 7.6 percent, unchanged from May.

There were 617,250 employed and 29,700 unemployed in June, for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 646,950 in the state. That was a decline of about 2,500 in the seasonally adjusted labor force compared to June 2012.

For June, there was a 1,700-job gain in the leisure and hospitality sector, mostly in food and drinking, the report said. Other seasonally adjusted job gains were logged in “other services,” 500; professional and business services, 300; and financial activities, 200.

On the downside, educational and health services showed a 700-job decline for the month. The department attributed this decline in the seasonally adjusted number to more pronounced seasonal staffing declines in private elementary and secondary schools and in social assistance.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector also took a hit, down 900 jobs for June, though the department is expecting a strong upward revision when delayed air transportation employer data becomes available.

Manufacturing lost 100 jobs and construction, 200 jobs, the report said.

The government sector dipped by 300 jobs for the month.

For the first half of the year, the leisure and hospitality sector has added the highest number of jobs, 3,600, while the construction sector has grown by the highest percentage, 8.2 percent.