The Hawai`i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations announced on Thursday that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 2.3 percent compared to 2.2 percent in September. Statewide, 670,400 were employed and 15,750 unemployed in October for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 686,100. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in October, the same as in September.
Initial claims increased by 207 or 16.2 percent, while weeks claims decreased by 877 or -11.6 percent for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago. Over-the-month initial claims rose by 12.5 percent and weeks claims decreased by 3.0 percent in October 2018.
The unemployment rate figures for the State of Hawaii and the U.S. in this release are seasonally adjusted, in accordance with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics methodology. The not seasonally adjusted rate for the State was 2.5 percent in October, the same as in September.
In Maui County, unemployment was at 2.6 percent in October. The number is up 0.1 percent since September and up 0.4 percent from one year ago. The highest rate in the county is on Molokai, where the unemployment was at 6.3 percent in October slightly down from the prior month but up 0.7 percent since the October prior.
In a separate measure of employment, total nonfarm jobs increased by 300 in October over September. Among the major industries, there were job gains in Construction (+400), Education & Health Services (+300), Manufacturing (+200), Information (+200), Financial Activities (+100) and Professional & Business Services (+100). Employment in Other Services remained unchanged. Job losses were experienced in Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (-400) and Leisure & Hospitality (-500). Please note that the ongoing labor dispute in the Accommodation sector is not factored into the October estimates, as the strike began after the October pay period utilized by the BLS was already in progress. Government dipped by 100 jobs. In comparison with October 2017, total nonagricultural jobs have expanded by 10,900, or 1.7 percent.