Hawaii’s unemployment rate drops slightly to 13.1% in July

HONOLULU — Hawaii’s unemployment rate declined slightly last month but large numbers of people continue to be out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said Thursday Hawaii had a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 13.1% in July, down from 13.4% in June.

That compares to a rate of just 2.4% in March.

Hawaii had 105,000 fewer non-agricultural jobs in July compared to three months ago. That’s a 16% drop.

The pandemic has forced many hotels to close, crippling the tourism industry that is the state’s biggest employer.

The department said the tourism industry continued to shed jobs in July but the education and health services sectors added workers.

Hawaii’s unemployment rate peaked this year at 23.8% in April. That was the first full month after the governor issued a stay-at-home order and began requiring travelers from out of state to quarantine themselves for 14 days.

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