Categorized | Business

Unemployment rate falls to 5.5 percent


The state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) has announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 5.5 percent, down from 5.7 percent in September.

The last time Hawaii had an unemployment rate at or below 5.5 percent was in November 2008.

Statewide, there were 606,950 employed and 35,550 unemployed in October, for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 642,500.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.9 percent, up from 7.8 percent in September.

Initial claims and weeks claimed for unemployment benefits were down 7.8% and 14.7%, respectively compared to one year ago. Between September and October, initial claims increased by 173 claims or 10.6% while weeks claims dropped by 127 claims or 1.1%.

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 declined to 5.5 percent in October from 5.6 percent in September.

Industry Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey)

In another measure of employment, total seasonally adjusted nonagricultural jobs grew by 2,200 over-the-month.

Since June, employment has expanded by 11,900 jobs. Within industry sectors, private industry employment gains were experienced in Leisure & Hospitality (+800), Professional & Business Services (+600), Construction (+300), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (+300), Other Services (+200), and Manufacturing (+100).

A robust visitor industry continued to fuel employment in Leisure & Hospitality, while strong hiring in Employment Services provided a considerable boost to Professional & Business Services.

Over-the-month job losses occurred in Financial Activities (-100) and Educational & Health Services (-200).

Government employment went up slightly by 100 jobs. Compared with October 2011, total seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs have risen by 12,000, with major industry increases in Leisure & Hospitality (+5,200), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (+3,100), and Educational & Health Services (+1,500).

Governor’s Statement on Improved Unemployment Rate

Gov. Neil Abercrombie issued the following statement regarding the announcement that Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October 2012 was 5.5 percent, down from 5.7 percent in September.

Abercrombie stated:

“Hawaii’s improved unemployment rate is another welcome sign that our economy is continuing to recover. Coupled with our state’s strong credit ratings of Aa2/AA/AA and today’s encouraging economic growth forecast by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, we are seeing clear indications that our administration’s economic strategy is working.

“To continue this positive momentum, we remain committed to our proven plan of fiscal prudence and investing in state infrastructure and facilities that will continue to stimulate the economy and create employment opportunities for local residents.”

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