Categorized | Business

Labor force expands by 850 in November


The state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations has announced expansions in the tourism, professional & business, and health care sectors were large contributors to the 4,600 jobs added in the Hawaii economy over the past year.

Total employment increased by 500 from October to November. The over the month job gains mirrored the year’s gains as the professional & business and education & health services sectors expanded by 700 and 500 respectively.

The 850-person expansion in the labor force increased the total seasonally adjusted labor force to 634,700 in November with 593,150 employed and 41,550 unemployed.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 3.7% from October to November, while the over the year change in weeks claimed was down 12.7%. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November was 6.5%, the same as in October.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 8.6% from 9.0% in October.

The unemployment rate figures for the state and the U.S. in this release are seasonally adjusted, in accordance with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) methodology.

In another measure of employment, total seasonally adjusted nonagricultural jobs increased by 300 jobs or +0.1 percent to 597,900 jobs from October to November.

Among major industry groups, job gains were experienced in Professional & Business Services (+700), Educational & Health Services (+500), Financial Activities (+200) and Other Services (+200).

Job losses occurred in Leisure & Hospitality (-100), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (-600), and Construction (-900). Government employment edged up by 100 jobs over-the-month.

In comparison with one year ago, total seasonally adjusted nonagricultural jobs have gone up by 4,600, or +0.8 percent, with the largest job expansion in Leisure & Hospitality (+3,200, +3.2%), Professional & Business Services (+2,800, +3.9%), and Educational & Health Services (+2,300, +3.0%).

* Professional & Business Services (+700)
There was an increase in hiring at Professional Employer Organizations and Temporary Help Services, along with smaller employment gains in a variety of Professional, Scientific, & Technical firms, most notably Engineering Services.

* Educational & Health Services (+500)
The bulk of job gains in this industry grouping were equally attributed to Hospitals and Educational Services.

* Financial Activities (+200)
Both Finance & Insurance and Real Estate & Rental & Leasing sectors experienced slight employment expansion.

* Other Services (+200)
This grouping of miscellaneous services has fluctuated around the 26,500-level for all of 2011.

* Leisure & Hospitality (-100)
After trending upward since June, this industry showed little change over-the-month. The Accommodations sector was affected by the closure of a West Oahu resort that employed 100 workers.

* Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (-600)
Job growth in General Merchandise Stores was slightly more than offset by job losses in other retail sectors. However, more of the industry-grouping decline was the result of employment decline in Air Transportation.

* Construction (-900)
The majority of contraction in November occurred in Special Trade Construction, with numerous construction trade specialties experiencing a moderate drop in jobs.

* Government (+100)
All branches of Government showed little over-the-month change. Over the past three months, Government employment has hovered over the 124,000-level.

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