LIHUE — Kauai’s unemployment rate was 2.7 percent for the month of November, and statewide rates are the lowest in the country, according to figures released by the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations last week.
Preliminary figures posted to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website show Hawaii and Iowa with a seasonally adjusted rate of 2.4 percent, well below the 3.7 percent national average.
Adjusted figures are not available at the county level, but the state’s non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, at 2.6 percent, is virtually equal to the rate on Kauai.
Compared with the previous month, joblessness on the island is down a tenth of a percent but still up from the same time last year, when rates were near record lows. Unemployment on the island was just 1.8 percent in October 2017, and in April and May this year, statewide jobless rates reached an all-time low of 2 percent.
Unemployment at the county and state level has gradually climbed over the past year, but both numbers are very low compared to nationwide statistics.
The Labor Department news release also contained statistics broken down by different job types.
Total nonfarm jobs increased by 900 over the month.
Among the major industries, job gains occurred in the fields of information, financial activities and professional and business services.
Employment in manufacturing and education and health services remained unchanged. Hospitality, trade, transportation and construction jobs all decreased over the month.
Within leisure and hospitality, a large drop in employment in due to a labor dispute was mostly countered by strong hiring in food services. Government jobs rose by 1,800, mostly due to general election workers. In comparison with November 2017, total nonagricultural jobs have expanded by 13,300, or 2 percent.