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Big Island unemployment up in May

June 22, 2014 - 8:15am

The Big Island’s unemployment rate saw a slight increase in May, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Hawaii County’s unemployment rate increased to 5.8 percent in May, slightly up from 5.6 percent in April, according to the department, which noted unemployment in May 2013 at 6.7 percent.

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in May, the same rate as in April, according to the department. Unemployment statewide in May 2013 was 4.6 percent.

Around the state, Honolulu City and County’s unemployment rate in May increased slightly to 4.1 percent, up from 3.8 percent in April; Maui County’s rate increased to 4.7 percent in March from 4.6 percent the month before; Kauai County saw its rate in May increase to 5 percent from 4.9 percent in April.

Nationwide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.3 in May, with no change from April, according to the department. The rate is also decreased from 7.5 percent when compared to a year ago.

In Hawaii, some 29,450 people remained unemployed and 632,500 held jobs in May, according to the department. The number of unemployed increased by 350 from April while the number of people who held jobs increased by 1,200.

Statewide, some 1,400 nonagriculture-related jobs were created during May, according to the department. On the year, according to state officials, 7,200 jobs have been created.

The professional and business services sector saw the greatest increase in the number of jobs added with 1,800 new positions, followed by trade, transport and utilities with 700 positions and mining, lodging and construction with 500 positions. The manufacturing sector added 200 jobs; 100 jobs were added to the financial activity sector.

The state attributed the gains to Professional and Business Services to job expansion in two subsectors: professional employment organizations and temporary help services.

Government saw 800 jobs cut that the state has attributed as a result of the shifting seasonal hiring at the Department of Education.

The greatest decrease in employment was recorded in the government sector, according to the department. The leisure and hospitality and other services sectors each saw 400 jobs lost in May.

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