Maui County’s unemployment rate falls to 2.5%

The Maui News – Maui County’s unemployment rate was 2.5 percent in August, down from 3.1 percent in August 2016 and down from 2.7 percent in July, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported.

The jobless rates are not seasonally adjusted, meaning they don’t take into account seasonal employment fluctuations.

For individual islands, Maui island’s unemployment was 2.3 percent in August, down from 2.9 percent in August 2016 and down from 2.4 percent in July, the labor department said. Molokai’s jobless rate was again the highest in the state — 7.6 percent in August, up from 7.3 percent August 2016 and down from 9.2 percent in July.

Lanai’s unemployment stood at 3.1 percent in August, down from 5.5 percent in August 2016 and down from 4.6 percent in July.

Statewide, the labor force was 690,400 in August, with 672,350 employed and 18,050 unemployed.

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate in Hawaii was 2.6 percent in August, compared with 2.7 percent in July. The last time the state’s unemployment rate was 2.6 percent was in April 2007.

“A 2.6 percent unemployment rate is essentially full employment according to conventional economic theory,” said Linda Chu Takayama, labor department director.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in August was 4.4 percent, compared with 4.3 percent in July.

Initial claims and weekly claims in Hawaii increased by 43, or 3.7 percent, and by 294, or 4 percent, respectively, compared with a year earlier. Month-over-month initial claims and weekly claims decreased by 2.1 percent and 5 percent respectively in August.

In a separate measure of employment, total nonagricultural jobs decreased in August over July by 2,500, the department reported.

There were job gains in professional and business services (plus 1,300) and construction (plus 400). Job losses happened in information (minus 100), manufacturing (minus 300), financial services (minus 400), other services (minus 400), leisure and hospitality (minus 800), educational and health services (minus 1,300) and trade, transportation and utilities (minus 1,400).