Maui’s jobless rate down from last year

The unemployment rate for Maui for November was 4.9 percent, which was 0.6 percentage points lower than the same month last year, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said Wednesday.

The jobless rate, which was not seasonally adjusted, was 0.1 percentage points higher than October for the island.

The jobless rate for Lanai was 4.4 percent for November, up 1.4 percent from November 2012. The rate was up 0.4 percentage points from October.

Molokai’s rate, also not seasonally adjusted, was 7.5 percent, the highest in the state, but nearly half as much as the 14.4 percent last November. The rate also was significantly lower than the 11.2 percent in October.

Jobless rates for the Neighbor Islands are not seasonally adjusted. Unemployment rates that are not seasonally adjusted do not account for seasonal fluctuations in the number of employed and unemployed people reflected by hiring and layoff patterns stemming from annual events like the winter holiday season and summer vacations.

The seasonally adjusted statewide jobless rate was 4.4 percent for November, unchanged from October. The national unemployment rate was 7 percent.

Statewide, there were 622,450 employed and 29,000 unemployed in November, for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 651,400. There were 4,750 more people employed last month than November 2012.

Initial jobless claims increased by 65 or 4.2 percent compared to last November. But month-over-month initial claims fell 32.3 percent. The significant decrease in month-over-month initial claims was due to the end of the government shutdown, the labor department said.

The largest areas of seasonally adjusted growth in November, compared to October, were in leisure and hospitality, up 1,700 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities, up 1,400; education and health services, up 400; and manufacturing, up 300.

The leisure and hospitality growth was driven by the food service and drinking places category. Year over year, leisure and hospitality employment was up 5,100 jobs in November.

On the negative side, seasonally adjusted employment in the government sector fell 2,300 in November, compared to October, due to smaller volume of November seasonal hiring at the state Department of Education and the University of Hawaii, the labor department said.