HONOLULU - Maui County's nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September was 7.9 percent, which was lower than the same month last year but higher than August's number.
The jobless rate continues its downward trend since the high of 9.2 percent in 2009-10, said Francisco P. Corpuz with the Research and Statistics Office of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, which released the report. Looking at specific sectors, he noted that retail trade is showing "strong increases" while construction jobs continue to decline.
The county's jobless rate was down from 8.3 percent last September, however it was higher than August's 7.5 percent, according to the data released Thursday.
The statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.6 percent for September, unchanged from the same month a year ago.
In the breakdown by island, Maui's unemployment rate was 7.6 percent, down from 8.2 percent last September. The rate was up from 7.3 percent in August.
Construction jobs for the island in September fell below 2,000 jobs - that's less than half of 4,950 jobs at the sector's peak in 2007, said Corpuz.
On Molokai, joblessness was 16.9 percent in September, compared to 13.6 percent in September 2010 and 13.9 percent in August.
Corpuz explained that the 3 percentage-point swing was more a result of the small population than any major layoffs on the island.
"Molokai is such a small area," he said Friday. "Even a minor change would make a difference."
Lanai's rate was the lowest in the county at 5.3 percent, down from 6 percent last September and 5.5 percent in August.
The Maui County data was not seasonally adjusted. Employment and unemployment statistics are generally higher or lower in some parts of the year due to, for example, winter holiday hiring or summer vacation hiring. A statistical technique is used to create a seasonal adjustment to the numbers to remove that factor from the analysis.