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Hawai`i’s Unemployment at 2.7 Percent in February

The Hawaii State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations on Thursday announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 2.7 percent, the same as in January. Statewide, 656,500 were employed and 18,250 unemployed in February for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 674,700. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in February, compared to 4.0 percent in January.

Both initial claims and weeks claims decreased by 50 or -4.0 percent and by 801 or -10.3 percent respectively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago. Over-the-month both initial claims and weeks claims also declined by -19.9 percent and -2.1 percent respectively in February 2019.

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 (BLS) methodology. The not seasonally adjusted rate for the State was 2.7 percent in February, compared to 2.9 percent in January.

In Maui County, unemployment was at 2.8 percent in February, down slightly from 2.9 percent in January. The unemployment number in Maui County has increased by 0.5 percent compared to the same time last year. The highest rate in the county remained on Molokai, where the unemployment was at 4.9 percent in February. That number has risen from 4.4 percent in January.

In a separate measure of employment, total nonagricultural jobs increased by 1,800 in February over January. Among the major industries, there were job gains in Leisure & Hospitality (+1,400), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (+600) and Other Services (+200).  Within Leisure & Hospitality, the bulk of the rise of jobs took place in Food Services & Drinking Places. Employment in Information, Financial Activities, and Professional & Business Services remained stable. Job losses occurred in Construction (-100), Manufacturing (-100), and Education & Health Services (-300). Government went up by 100 jobs. Compared with one year ago, total nonfarm jobs have expanded by 3,200 jobs, or 0.5 percent.

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