Hawaii’s unemployment rate fell in August to its lowest level in more than 10 years even as nonagricultural jobs declined by 2,500 from the previous month.
The state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate inched down one-tenth of a percentage point to 2.6 percent, according to data released today by the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. The last time the rate was this low was in April 2007. Since the start of this year, the jobless rate has hovered in the narrow range of 2.7 to 2.8 percent.
Hawaii’s nonagricultural payroll job count, which includes multiple jobs held by one person but does not include self-employed jobs, decreased to 655,700 from 658,200 in July.
The trade, transportation and utilities sector showed the largest decline in jobs at 1,400 over the previous month with the educational and health services category posting the next largest drop at 1,300.
Professional and business services had the largest gain at 1,300 with construction next at 400.
Hawaii’s labor market is calculated two ways.
The unemployment rate is derived largely from a monthly telephone survey of households that counts the number of people in the labor force. A separate survey of businesses determines the number of nonagricultural payroll jobs. So if one person holds three jobs, all three jobs are included.
Hawaii’s labor force, which includes people who are employed, those who are unemployed but actively seeking work, and those who are self-employed, fell last month to 690,400 from 693,250 in July. There were 672,350 employed in August, down from 674,600 the previous month.
The number of unemployed declined to 18,050 from 18,650.