Kaua‘i unemployment holds steady in August

Kaua‘i County’s unemployment rate held steady in August at 4.3 percent, the same as July, according to Department of Labor and Industrial Relations data released Thursday.

The rate marks an increase of 1.9 percentage points over the previous year’s August unemployment of 2.4 percent.

Unemployment on the Garden Isle is expected to jump in September as the Princeville Resort temporarily lays off about 360 workers during the hotel’s closure for renovations, which began Friday.

The statewide unemployment rate increased from July to August this year. Hawai‘i’s August unemployment was 4.2 percent, a 0.3 percentage point increase over July’s 3.9 percent. The state’s August 2007 rate was 2.7 percent.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate also increased month to month, from 5.7 percent in July to 6.1 percent in August.

Over the last six months, Hawai‘i’s monthly seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has been on average roughly 1.8 percentage points lower than the U.S. rate. There were 636,050 employed and 28,100 unemployed in Hawai‘i in August, for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 664,150.

In another measure of employment, total seasonally adjusted nonagricultural jobs expanded in August over the previous month by 2,300 to 625,500. Job gains in the private sector occurred in construction and leisure and hospitality (+200 each), and educational and health services and other services (+100 each). Job losses were registered in trade, transportation and utilities (-400), partially resulting from an additional reduction of staff with a cruise ship’s earlier departure.

“The department is encouraged by the number of jobs being created even during these challenging times,” Darwin L.D. Ching, director of Labor and Industrial Relations, said. “We are also pleased to see that Hawai’i’s unemployment rates remain largely lower than the nation.”

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