Howard's Biz: Jobless Claims Spike

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The newest weekly report on Hawaii jobless claims shows 2,239 first-time claims, the most since the post-Christmas retail layoffs in early January.

Total claims for the seven days to last Sunday, including repeat filers, topped 12,000 for the first time since March, according to the Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations.

New claims were 5 percent higher than the same week last year. There was a 400 claim increase in new filings in Hawaii County alone. Only Kauai reported a small decline.

Hawaii unemployment is significantly lower than the mainland but declines have been slow this year.

Your morning briefing continues:

• Hotel occupancy last week was 55% on the Big Island, 61% on Kauai, 68% in Maui County, and 82% on Oahu, with room rates up 6% to 14% depending on the island, compared to last year, Hospitality Advisors reported Friday.

• Hawaiian Airlines is again the ontimest U.S. airline – 93%, based on data from April newly released by the U.S. Department of Transportion. Alaska was second and Delta third, with United and American much lower. Go, a division of Mesa, had more than 100 chronically late flights.

• Kamehameha Schools has reported "suspended" plans for a strip mall in Hawaii Kai on land it owns that sits between the main highway and the ocean; word came from a city councilman rather than from Kamehameha Schools and residents vow to be vigilant against any effort to restart the project.

• Sales began Friday morning for "Symphony Honolulu," a 40-story high-rise condo complex to be built by OliverMcMillan at the corner of Kapiolani Blvd. and Ward Ave., across from Blaisdell Arena.