Unemployment steady at 2.3 percent

KAILUA-KONA — Hawaii Island’s unemployment rate stood at 2.3 percent in May, unchanged from April, recently released state labor statistics show.

About 2,100 people in the island’s 91,600 labor force were without work during the month, according to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. In March, unemployment was at 2.4 percent.


Those rates are still down from a year ago when 2.8 percent of the island was without work.

Statewide, unemployment held steady at 2 percent in May, unchanged from the month prior but down from 2.4 percent in May 2017.

Around the state, unemployment in Maui County and the City and County of Honolulu went unchanged in May, at 2 percent and 1.9 percent respectively. Kauai’s jobless rate increased from 1.8 percent in April to 2.1 percent in May.

Nationally, the unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent in May, down from 3.9 percent in April.

Across the state, job expansion was recorded in the construction industry (600), professional and business services (500), trade, transportation and utilities (400), information (100) and other services (100).

Job losses were reported in manufacturing (200) and education and health services (300). Government employment declined by 500 jobs, the DLIR said.


Employment in the financial activities and leisure and hospitality sectors remained unchanged in May.

Government employment went up by 600 jobs, primarily due to seasonal variation in the Department of Education and the University of Hawaii system.

  1. Raoul Duke II June 20, 2018 7:52 pm

    What a laugh this is. What they don’t tell you is that the majority of the jobs on this island pay below minimum wage and with housing prices incredibly high those working are living paycheck to paycheck. I find it laughable that they tout the low unemplyment rate when they never mention the average pay of 90% of the workforce is below $30K. Try and rent a decent place for that? After taxes the take home is below a livable wage and most of these are considered poor working class or POOR by any economic standard. But if you work for the county and have relatives in the government bureaucracy then you are set for life…what a joke this county is!

    1. diverdave June 21, 2018 11:21 am

      Well Raoul, every time someone wants to bring an industry to the island the parade of Polynesian obstructionists show up to disrupt and shout it down.

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