Big Island unemployment rate down in July


The Big Island’s unemployment rate decreased in July while the statewide unemployment rate held steady for the fourth straight month, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Hawaii County’s unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent in July, from 6.5 percent in June, according to the department, which noted unemployment in July 2013 at 7.1 percent. The unemployment rate in July 2012 for Hawaii County was 8.8 percent.

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in July, unchanged from June, according to the department. Unemployment statewide in July 2013 was 4.7 percent and 5.1 percent in July 2012.

Around Hawaii, Honolulu City and County’s unemployment rate in July decreased to 4.3 percent, down from 4.5 percent in June; Maui County’s rate dipped to 4.8 percent in July from 5 percent the month before; and Kauai County saw its rate in July decrease to 5.2 percent from 5.4 percent in June.

Nationwide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in July, up from 6.1 percent in June, according to the department. The rate is down, however, from 7.3 percent when compared to a year ago.

The number of unemployed people nationwide declined was 9.7 million in July, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, which noted nonfarm employment rose by 209,000 positions during July. Across the State of Hawaii, some 29,250 people remained unemployed and 632,950 held jobs in July, according to the state department.

Hawaii Island’s work force in July consisted of 87,000 people of whom 81,650 held jobs, according to the preliminary statistics kept by the federal bureau. Some 5,350 were unemployed.

Statewide, some 800 nonagriculture-related jobs were created during July, according to the department.

The educational and health services sector saw the greatest increase in positions with 1,400 jobs added, followed by the leisure and hospitality sector with 700 jobs created. Both the construction and the financial activities sectors each added 200 jobs, according to the department. Government saw an increase of 600 jobs, which was attributed to seasonal hiring within the Department of Education and the University of Hawaii system.

The greatest decreases in employment occurred in both the professional and business services sector and the trade, transportation and utility sector where 1,100 jobs were lost. The manufacturing sector saw 100 fewer jobs available.