Hawaii’s unemployment rate dropped for the third consecutive month, falling one-tenth of a percentage point in October to 3.2 percent, according to data released today by the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
The state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate matched its lowest level since April and May. The low for this year was 3.1 percent in February and March.
Total nonfarm payroll jobs were unchanged from the previous month and remained at 654,200, but that is still up 14,000 over the past year. The leisure and hospitality sector had the largest job gain, up 1,800, while the year-long strong construction sector added 400 jobs to 39,400. Construction jobs are up 7 percent from 36,900 in October 2015. The nonfarm payroll jobs figure includes people who might hold multiple jobs but doesn’t include people who are self-employed.
In another measure of the Hawaii economy, the state’s labor force, which includes people who are employed and those who are unemployed but actively seeking work, rose to 692,800 from 687,700 in September.
There were 670,950 people employed in October, up from 665,100 the previous month, while the number of unemployed fell to 21,850 from 22,600.
Hawaii’s lowest unemployment rate since January 1976 — the oldest available data — was 2.4 percent, achieved from October through December 2006 and May through September 1989.
The state’s unemployment rate is derived largely from a monthly telephone survey of households, while a separate survey of businesses determines the number of nonfarm payroll jobs. State and national labor force data are adjusted for seasonal factors, such as the winter holiday and summer vacation seasons.