Big Island unemployment rate increased in June


The Big Island’s unemployment rate increased while the statewide unemployment rate held steady in June 2014, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Hawaii County’s unemployment rate rose to 6.6 percent in June, up from 5.8 percent in May, according to the department, which noted unemployment in June 2013 at 7.8 percent. The unemployment rate in June 2012 for Hawaii County was 9.4 percent.

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in June, unchanged from May, according to the department. Unemployment statewide in June 2013 was 4.7 percent and 5.9 percent in June 2012.

Around the state, Honolulu City and County’s unemployment rate in June increased slightly to 4.5 percent, up from 4.1 percent in May; Maui County’s rate rose to 5.1 percent in June from 4.7 percent the month before; and Kauai County saw its rate in June decrease to 5.4 percent from 4.9 percent in May.

Nationwide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in June, down from 6.3 percent in May, according to the department. The rate is also down from 7.5 percent when compared to a year ago.

The number of unemployed people nationwide declined by 325,000 to 9.5 million in June, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, which noted nonfarm employment rose by 288,000 positions during June.

In Hawaii, some 29,150 people remained unemployed and 632,450 held jobs in June, according to the department. The number of unemployed decreased by 250 from May while the number of people who held jobs decreased by 50.

Hawaii Island’s work force in June consisted of 85,400 people of whom 79,800 held jobs, according to the preliminary statistics kept by the federal bureau. Some 5,600 were unemployed.

Statewide, some 2,300 nonagriculture-related jobs were created during June, according to the department. Compared with a year ago, there has been an increase of 4,800 nonfarm jobs.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector saw the greatest increase in the number of jobs added with 1,300 new positions, followed by manufacturing with 100 positions added.

The greatest decrease in employment was recorded in the other educational and health services sector, which saw 1,000 positions cut, followed by the mining, logging and construction sector which saw 700 jobs and the government sector which lost 500 jobs in June,according to the department.

The other services and professional and business services sectors each lost 300 positions, according to the department. Two hundred positions were cut in the leisure and hospitality sector, as well as in the financial activities sector.