Unemployment rate inches up

KAILUA-KONA — All of Hawaii’s four counties saw unemployment rates tick up in January.

About 3.6 percent of the island’s 88,800-person workforce was without work during the first month of 2019, according to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reports. The rate is up from 2.9 percent in December. In January 2018, unemployment stood at 2.6 percent.

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Meanwhile, unemployment across the state increased slightly from 2.7 percent in January, up from 2.6 percent in December, according to the department. In January 2018, about 2.3 percent of the workforce was unemployed.

No county was able to escape an increase in the rate. Honolulu City and County saw its unemployment rate increase from 2.2 percent in December to 2.7 percent in January. Kauai and Maui also saw an increase of 0.7 percent in unemployment bringing the rate to 3 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.

Nationwide, unemployment rose a tad from 3.9 percent in December to 4 percent in January. The unemployment rate during the first month of 2019 was still lower than January 2018 when unemployment stood at 4.1 percent.

In Hawaii, job growth was reported in the following sectors: trade, transportation and utilities (500) and financial activities (100).

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Job cuts were recorded in the following sectors: information (300), professional and business services (300), and leisure and hospitality (1,700). The bulk of the loss in leisure and hospitality occurred in food services and drinking places.

Employment in the construction, education and health services, manufacturing and other services remained stable.

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