Kaua‘i unemployment rises to 4.5 pct

Kaua‘i’s unemployment rate for July was 4.5 percent, a slight increase from 4.3 percent in June, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Hawai‘i seasonally adjusted unemployment rate saw a similar increase, from 3.8 percent in June to 3.9 percent in July.

In comparison, the U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 5.5 percent in June to 5.7 percent in July.

Unemployment was at 2.8 percent for Kaua‘i in July 2007, and 2.6 percent for the state last year.

“Hawai‘i’s job numbers continue to reflect the effects of external economic conditions on our economy,” said Colleen Y. LaClair, deputy director of Labor and Industrial Relations. “We are encouraged that Hawai‘i continues to post unemployment rates significantly lower then the U.S. average.”

In the past year, Hawai‘i’s seasonally adjusted labor force has expanded by 17,150, or 2.6 percent, to 664,700. In July, there were 638,600 employed and 26,150 unemployed statewide.

In another measure of employment, total seasonally adjusted nonagricultural jobs declined from June by 3,100 to 622,900. The job gain in the private sector occurred in construction (100 jobs added). Job reduction was most notable in trade, transportation and utilities, which saw a loss of 800 jobs. This was partially attributed to the release of additional staffing with the departure of another NCL cruise ship from Hawaiian waters in May.

There were also declines in educational and health services and leisure and hospitality fields (400 each). Government reported a 100-job loss.

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