Categorized | Business

Unemployment falls to 4.5%; lowest since 2008


The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July declined to 4.5 percent, from 4.6 percent in June. The last time the unemployment rate was 4.5 percent or less was in August 2008.

Statewide, there were 614,900 employed and 28,900 unemployed in July, for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 643,800.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in July, down from 7.6 percent in June.

Initial claims and weeks claims decreased by 60 or -3.3% and by 1,574 or -11.6% consecutively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago. Over-the-month initial claims dropped by 3.7% while weeks claims increased by 0.7% in July 2013.

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 decreased to 4.7 percent in July from 5.2 percent in June.

In a separate measure of employment, total seasonally adjusted nonagricultural jobs rose by 800 over-the-month.

Job gains in the major industry sectors occurred in Construction (+1,100), Leisure & Hospitality (+700), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (+500), and Manufacturing (+200).

Within Construction, there were particularly strong job gains for contractors engaged in land subdivision, structural steel and precast concrete, and electrical installation.

Employment in Professional & Business Services remained unchanged.

Job losses were experienced in Financial Activities (-100), Other Services (-300), Educational & Health Services (-600) and in Government (-600).

Within Educational & Health Services, the most notable decrease was in ambulatory health care.

Over-the-year, job growth has been brisk in both Construction (+11.6%) and Leisure & Hospitality (+3.2%), which have expanded by 3,400 jobs each.

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