Categorized | Business

Unemployment drops to 5.2% in December


The state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations has announced the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was 5.2 percent, down from 5.3 percent in November.

The last time Hawaii had an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent or less was in October 2008.

Statewide, there were 613,300 employed and 33,500 unemployed in December, for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 646,800. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.8 percent, unchanged from the revised rate of 7.8 percent in November.

Initial claims and weeks claims for unemployment benefits were both down by 319 claims or 15.5% and 2,600 claims or 18.2%, respectively compared to one year ago.

Between November and December, initial claims and weeks claims increased by 12.6% and 1.3%, respectively.

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 4.8 percent in December from 5.3 percent in November.


Industry Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey)

In a separate measure of employment, total seasonally adjusted nonagricultural jobs declined by 4,000 in December over November. The release of temporary general election workers was the primary reason for the drop of 1,900 jobs in Government.

In the private sector, employment gains occurred in Leisure & Hospitality (+500) and Manufacturing (+300).

Over-the-month job contraction was experienced in Construction (-300), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (-300), Other Services (-300), Financial Activities (-400), Education & Health Services (-600), and Professional & Business Services (-1,200). Within Professional & Business Services, less work in Employment Services was a significant contributing factor in the decline.

Over-the-year, total nonfarm jobs have expanded by 11,900, or 2.0 percent.

While government employment has dipped by 100 jobs in comparison with December 2011, prominent job growth has taken place in Leisure & Hospitality (+4,700), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (+4,400), and Construction (+1,800).

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