The Hawaii State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations on Thursday announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March was 2.8 percent, compared to 2.7 percent in February. Statewide, 654,100 were employed and 18,650 unemployed in March for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 672,750. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in March, the same as in February.
Initial claims increased by 31 or 2.7 percent while weeks claims decreased by 448 or -6.2 percent for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago. Over-the-month, both initial claims and weeks claims declined by -2.2 percent and -2.8 percent respectively in March 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 2.8 percent in March, compared to the revised rate of 2.8 percent in February.
In Maui County, unemployment was at 2.8 percent in March. The unemployment number in Maui County has increased by 0.6 percent compared to the same time last year. The highest rate in the county remained on Molokai, where the unemployment was at 5.8 percent in March. That number has risen from 4.8 percent in February.
In another measure of employment, total nonagricultural jobs decreased by 800 over-the-month. Within the major industries, job gains occurred in Construction (+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 (-100), Professional & Business Services (-500), and Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (-600). Government jobs went down by 300. In comparison with March 2018, there has been an expansion by 1,400 jobs, or 0.2 percent.