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Hawai`i’s Unemployment Rate at 2.4 Percent in November

The Hawai`i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations on Thursday announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November was 2.4 percent compared to 2.3 percent in October.

Statewide, 668,800 were employed and 16,350 unemployed in November for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 685,150. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in November, the same as in October.

Both Initial claims and weeks claims decreased by 49 or -4.2 percent and 587 or -7.8 percent respectively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago.  Over-the-month initial claims dropped by 24.5 percent and weeks claims increased by 4.6 percent in November 2018.

The unemployment rate figures for the State of Hawai`i 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 2.6 percent in November, compared to 2.5 percent in October.

In Maui County, unemployment remained at 2.6 percent in November. The number is the same as it was in October and is up 0.4 percent from one year ago. The highest rate in the county was on Molokai, where the unemployment was at 4.6 percent in November. That number is down significantly from 6.3 in October and down from 5.5 percent from the same time last year.

In another measure of employment, total nonfarm jobs increased by 900 over-the-month.  Among the major industries, job gains occurred in Professional & Business Services (+400), Information (+100), Financial Activities (+100) and Other Services (+100).  Employment in Manufacturing and Education & Health Services remained unchanged.  Job losses were experienced in Leisure & Hospitality (-200), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (-500) and Construction (-900). Within Leisure & Hospitality, a large drop in employment in Accommodation due to a labor dispute was mostly countered by strong hiring in Food Services & Drinking Places. Government rose by 1,800 jobs, mostly due to general election workers.  In comparison with November 2017, total nonagricultural jobs have expanded by 13,300, or 2.0 percent.

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