Tuesday, December 21, 1999

Jobless rate in Hawaii
declines to 5.2%

By Russ Lynch


Art Hawaii's unemployment rate improved last month to 5.2 percent, from a 5.9 percent in November 1998, according to the monthly report from the state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations.

Last month's rate was the same as October's level, the department said yesterday.

The number of jobs in Hawaii grew by 3,000 to 534,900 last month, from 531,900 in November 1998, according to the department's detailed survey of a wide sample of employers.

Economists consider that number a more important indicator of the health of the economy than the unemployment rate, which is put together from a much smaller survey of households.

The latter survey showed 31,350 workers unemployed statewide last month, 4,300 fewer than the 35,550 unemployed in November 1998.

The four largest islands showed year-over-year improvements.

Oahu rate fell half a point to 4.7 percent last month from 5.2 percent in November 1998. The Kauai jobless rate of 7.1 percent was an improvement from 8.7 percent.

The Big Island rate slipped to 7.5 percent from 8.6 percent while Maui's 4.8 percent level was down from 5.9 percent in November 1998.

However, Molokai's jobless rate rose to 15.2 percent from 13.5 percent; and Lanai's level was 5.2 percent, up from 4.9 percent in November 1998.

Hawaii had 569,700 people employed last month and 31,300 unemployed, out of a total work force of 601,000, the state said.

Despite Hawaii's improvement last month, the state's employment figures still lag the national average.

The U.S. average jobless rate, which unlike Hawaii's is seasonally adjusted, was 3.8 percent last month, compared with 4.1 percent in November 1998 and unchanged from October.

E-mail to Business Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin