Unemployment down slightly in December

Hawaii Island’s unemployment rate decreased slightly during the month of December, recently released state labor statistics show.

About 3.0% — or 2,600 people in the island’s 88,050 person labor force — were without work during the final month of 2019, according to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. In November, unemployment was at 3.3%.

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Statewide, unemployment held steady at 2.6% during November and December.

Around the state, unemployment decreased for Maui and Kauai counties and the City and County of Honolulu. Maui County’s rate dropped from 2.5% in November to 2.2% in December while the City and County of Honolulu saw the unemployment rate decrease from 2.4% to 2.1%. Kauai’s jobless rate fell from 2.9% to 2.5% during that time period.

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Nationally, the unemployment rate was 3.5% during in December, unchanged from November, but a down from December 2018 when 3.9% of workers were unemployed.

In Hawaii, job increases were recorded in leisure and hospitality (1,300), trade, transportation and utilities (300), professional and business services (300), manufacturing (100), financial activities (100) and education and health services (100). Employment in the construction, information and other services sectors was unchanged.

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