Wednesday, August 25, 1999

Isle jobless
rate falls

Star-Bulletin staff


Art Hawaii's unemployment rate fell in July to 5.8 percent, but the job count also dropped, the state said.

Last month's jobless rate compared with 6.2 percent in June and 6.7 percent a year earlier, according to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

The number of nonagricultural wage and salary jobs, though, dropped by 5,500 to 527,100. Most of the decline was due to seasonal factors, the department said.

The state's unemployment rate still was above the national rate of 4.5 percent for July. Both rates were not adjusted for seasonal factors. On a seasonally adjusted basis, which is the way the federal government reports unemployment numbers, the national rate was 4.3 percent last month.

The individual rates for most of the islands also fell.

Molokai continued to lead the state with the highest unemployment, with 16.8 percent jobless compared with 17.4 percent in June. Other rates: Oahu at 5.0 percent, down from 5.3 percent; Maui, 5.1 percent, down from 5.8 percent; the Big Island, 10.2 percent, down from 11.3 percent; Kauai, 6.9 percent, down from 7.6 percent.

Lanai was the only island where the unemployment rate increased, going from 2.2 percent in June to 2.9 percent last month.

The summer break in schools caused a drop of 9,300 jobs at public schools and the University of Hawaii, according to the state.

Outside of the seasonal effects, eating and drinking establishments lost 300 jobs, the department said.

Private social services gained 1,200 jobs, while local government employment climbed 1,600.

The construction industry also had a gain of 300 jobs.

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