Big Isle jobless rate falls slightly


The Big Island’s unemployment rate inched down in April, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial relations.

Hawaii County’s unemployment rate decreased to 5.7 percent in April, down from 5.8 percent in March, according to the department, which noted unemployment in April 2013 at 6.6 percent.

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in April, down slightly from 4.5 percent in March, according to the department. Unemployment statewide in April 2013 was 4.8 percent and 6.0 percent in April 2012.

Around the state, Honolulu City and County’s unemployment rate in April decreased slightly to 3.8 percent, down from 3.9 percent in March; Maui County’s rate dropped to 4.6 percent in April from 4.9 percent the month before; and Kauai County saw its rate in April decrease to 5 percent from 5.2 percent in March.

Nationwide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in April, down from 6.7 percent in March, 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 733,000 to 9.8 million in April, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, which noted nonfarm employment rose by 288,000 positions during April.

In Hawaii, some 29,100 people remained unemployed and 631,300 held jobs in April, according to the department. The number of unemployed decreased by 500 from March while the number of people who held jobs increased by 2,550.

Hawaii Island’s work force in April consisted of 83,100 people of whom 78,400 held jobs, according to the preliminary statistics kept by the federal bureau.

Statewide, some 3,300 nonagriculture-related jobs were created during April, according to the department. On the year, according to state officials, 6,000 jobs have been created.

The leisure and hospitality sector saw the greatest increase in the number of jobs added with 1,600 new positions, followed by educational and health services with 600 positions and construction with 300 positions. The manufacturing and trade, transportation and utilities sectors each added 200 jobs.

The state attributed the gains in the leisure and hospitality sector to job expansion in three subsectors: accommodations, food services and drinking establishments and art, entertainment and recreation.

Government saw 800 jobs added that the state attributed to seasonal hiring at the Department of Education.

The greatest decrease in employment was recorded in the other services sector, which saw 200 positions cut, according to the department. The financial activities and professional business services sector each saw 100 jobs lost in April.

Email Chelsea Jensen at cjensen@ westhawaiitoday.com.

 

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