The Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, D.C., surprised economists and the stock market Friday morning by reporting an increase in joblessness.
Stocks were lower. So many investors shifted money into safer Treasury bills, the Treasury was able to reduce the payback interest rate on 10-year T-bills to less than 3 percent.
The U.S. Labor Department said only 54,000 jobs were created nationwide in May; it takes 125,000 more jobs per month just to keep up with population growth.
The picture was brighter in Hawaii, based on the weekly jobless claims figures released Thursday by the Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations.
New jobless claims fell below 2,000 and total claims fell below 15,000 last week, reflecting seasonal hiring in advance of summer vacation season.
Molokai bucked the trend with a handful of extra jobless claims and new claims rose slightly at the Kona unemployment office.