May jobless rate for Maui island ticks up a bit to 2.5 percent

The jobless rate for Maui island rose to 2.5 percent in May, up nearly a half percentage point from May 2018, but still below the national rate, the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported Thursday.

Maui County’s jobless rate for May also was 2.5 percent, up from 2.2 percent last year. Molokai island’s unemployment rate was 5.4 percent, the highest in the state, but was down from 5.7 percent last May. Lanai had the state’s lowest jobless rate of 0.9 percent for the month, which was down from 1.7 percent.

The county numbers were not adjusted for seasonal occurrences, such as summer or holiday hiring, making month-over-month comparisons less significant.

The state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 2.8 percent, the same as April; the U.S. rate was 3.6 percent in May.

Initial claims for unemployment compensation rose 1.1 percent in May compared to a year earlier. Month-over-month initial claims grew 2.8 percent.

Nonagricultural jobs in May fell 1,200 compared to April. Losses came in trade, transportation and utilities, down 600; leisure and hospitality, down 500; construction, down 400; manufacturing, down 200; and information, down 100. Gains were recorded in education and health services, up 400 jobs, and professional and business services, up 200.

Government jobs fell 200 jobs in May, month over month.