Hawaii weekly jobless claims decline - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii weekly jobless claims decline

By Howard Dicus - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Both new and total weekly jobless claims across Hawaii have fallen to levels not seen since 2008, a possible recovery sign if the trend continues.

For the seven days April 18-24, there were 2,053 first-time claims for unemployment benefits, down 246 from the week before, a level last seen in September 2008.

Total claims fell 1,615 from the previous week to 17,561, a level last seen just before Christmas 2008. Claims fell in every unemployment office statewide except Hilo.

The Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations counted hundreds of agent claims, filed against other states by people who now live in Hawaii. Without these, the total claims tally would have fallen below the 17,000 mark.

These figures do not include discouraged workers, who have given up looking for work, or jobless residents who have exhausted their benefits, or people who are still employed but cannot get all the hours they need or want.

Weekly claims can and do fluctuate, but generally the numbers so far this year seem to be lower than the numbers reported through most of 2009.

Unemployment is considered a lagging indicator, one of the last metrics to improve when recession becomes recovery, because employers are cautious about assuming that improving business conditions are not a blip, or they see factors that could interrupt a rebound, or they have debt to pay off because they can respond fully to improving conditions.

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