Hawaii’s unemployment rate highest in the nation for second month

Hawaii’s unemployment rate highest in the nation for second month
State of Hawaii, Honolulu unemployment office (Source: None)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii had the nation’s highest unemployment rate in October, at 14.3%, according to new state-by-state figures released Friday.

The unemployment rate translates to nearly 92,000 unemployed workers in the islands.

It’s the second consecutive month that Hawaii topped the nation for its unemployment rate.

In a glimmer of good news: Hawaii’s unemployment rate did drop in October from the month before. The rate was 15% in September.

But the state’s rate is still far higher than the national average of 6.9%.

Nevada had the nation’s second-highest unemployment rate in October, at 12%. Rounding out the bottom three was New York at 12%.

Hawaii could see additional employment gains in November thanks to the state’s pre-travel testing program, which allows visitors to bypass quarantine if they present a negative COVID-19 test.

More hotels and businesses in tourism centers are reopening thanks to the program.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in October did vary widely by island:

  • Maui County: 22.5%
  • Kauai: 19.8%
  • Hawaii County: 13.5%
  • Oahu: 12.3%

In October 2019, Hawaii’s unemployment rate was just 2.7%.

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