Maui County’s jobless rate down from year ago

Maui County’s unemployment rate for December was 4.6 percent, 0.6 percentage points lower than the same month in 2012, according to the latest statistics released Monday by the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

The Maui County jobless rate, which was not seasonally adjusted, was 0.3 percentage points lower than it was in November.

Maui island’s rate for December was 4.5 percent, down 0.3 percentage points from November and down 0.5 points from the same month last year.

Molokai continued to have the state’s highest unemployment rate at 7.7 percent, up 0.2 percentage points from November. However, it is down from the 13.3 percent unemployment rate in December 2012.

Lanai reported a 4.8 percent unemployment rate last month, up 0.4 percentage points from November. In December 2012, the Pine Isle reported the state’s lowest unemployment rate of only 1.5 percent.

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted rate was 4.5 percent in December, up slightly from November’s 4.4 percent and down 0.9 percentage points from a year ago. There were 625,8000 employed and 29,750 unemployed in December for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 655,550.

The statewide data were adjusted for seasonal fluctuations in the number of employed and unemployed people, such as for the winter holiday and summer vacation seasons, and to allow for a better reflection of month-to-month changes. The island and county data were not seasonally adjusted.

While there have been increases in the number of jobs in nearly all industry sectors in Hawaii compared to the same time the previous year, leisure and hospitality saw the most growth, adding 4,700 jobs, the report said.

The “other services” sector added 2,200 jobs, expanding 8.1 percent from December 2012.

Government and educational services saw fewer jobs this December than in 2012.

An industry breakdown was not available for Maui County.