Hawaii joblessness steady - but your island may vary

By Howard Dicus - bio | email 

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii's unemployment rate is still 6.4%, but there are still wide differences from island to island, and a much higher rate of workers who can't get all the hours they want.

The new report from the state, covering data from October, shows hundreds of new jobs in construction and health services, and firmer than expected performance in the tourism sector.

The October jobless rate was 6.4%, same as September, with or without seasonal adjustment, the Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations reported Monday. But the rate including discouraged workers who have given up looking and underutilized workers who work part-time because they can't find full-time work was 16.7%, not much different from the 16.8% national rate.

Here is how regular unemployment rates, without seasonal adjustment, broke down by operating county (with year-before joblessness in parenthesis):
+ Oahu 5.5% (5.8%)
+ Big Iisland 9.3% (9.9%)
+ Maui Co. 7.8% (8.7%)
+ Kauai 8.5% (8.7%)

Lanai unemployment, while below year-before levels, rose from 5.5% in September to 6% in October, while Molokai rose three tenths to 13.1%, a level that is actually higher than in October 2009.

DLIR said there were 700 more construction jobs in October, 300 more in health services, and 400 more in financial services. Tourism was firm, with steady hospitality employment, though transportation employment eased.

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