Unemployment rates in county at historic lows

The Maui News

Maui County’s not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.1 percent in November, just a 10th of a percentage point above the state’s 2 percent overall jobless rate, according to a monthly statistical report from the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

“The 2 percent unemployment rate is the new historical lowest unemployment rate on record dating back to 1976, under current methodology,” said Leonard Hoshijo, acting department director.

Maui County’s jobless rate is a full percentage point below November 2016, when it was 3.1 percent. The county’s unemployment in October was at 2 percent.

Maui island’s rate also was at 2 percent in November, a 10th of a percentage point higher than October and a percentage point under November 2016’s 3 percent.

Molokai continued to have the highest unemployment in the state at 5.2 percent in November, the same rate as a month earlier. In November 2016, Molokai’s jobless rate was at 7.2 percent.

On Lanai, however, the unemployment rate was 1.6 percent in November — the lowest in the state. That’s down from 1.7 percent in November 2016 and from 2.4 percent in October.

The Maui County unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted, meaning that they don’t take into account seasonal employment fluctuations that reflect hiring and layoff patterns that accompany regular events like the winter holidays or summer vacation seasons.

Statewide in November, the total labor force was estimated at 684,350 — 670,300 employed and 14,000 unemployed.

Initial unemployment claims increased by 35, or 3.1 percent, for initial claims; and by 131, or 1.8 percent, for weeks’ claims compared with a year ago.

In another measure of employment, there was a decline of 1,300 nonagricultural jobs in November, compared with October, the department reported.

There were job gains in construction (plus 800), manufacturing (plus 200), financial activities (plus 200) and leisure and hospitality (plus 100). Within construction, the principal source of more jobs was the subcategory of special trade construction.

Job losses were recorded in information (minus 100), trade, transportation and utilities (minus 200), professional and business services (minus 200), educational and health services (minus 300) and other services (minus 300).

Government employment fell by 1,500 jobs.

Compared with November 2016, total nonfarm jobs have grown by 4,900, or 0.8 percent.

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