Hawaii new jobless claims rise

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii new jobless claims rose by about 150 claims last week to 1,987, the highest level since early January.

Most of the first-time filings, as always, were on Oahu, 1,245, with increases in all three unemployment offices - Honolulu, Waipahu and Kaneohe, the Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations reported. Total Oahu claims, including repeat filers, came to 7,146, also the most since early January.

The filings are thought to have include some layoffs by defense contractors. They do not yet include job cuts associated with the closure of the Tesoro refinery in Kapolei, and Kaiser Permanente reported that only three nurses chose severance in its elimination of dozens of jobs; the rest transferred to other assignments.

The Big Island had 337 new filings, up about 60 from the week before, and 2,152 total claims, up about 150 from the week before.

Maui County had 214 new claims, down three from the week before, including seven claims on Molokai, down from the week before. Total claims also fell, to 1,586.

Kauai had 127 new claims, up eight from the week before, and 746 total claims, up 11.

Weekly jobless claims - these numbers are not seasonally adjusted - fluctuate, but have in general trended lower for several months compared to year-before levels. Last week, however, the numbers were up 7 percent from the same week in 2012.

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