Kaua‘i 8.9% jobless rate tops state

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i County continues to have the highest unemployment rate in the state.

According to the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, the jobless rate for the state was 6.6% in August. On Kaua‘i, it was 8.9%.

The unemployment rate for August was 7% compared to 7.3% in July.

Statewide, 601,800 were employed and 45,550 were unemployed in August for a total labor force of 647,350. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 5.2% in August, down from 5.4% in July.

The unemployment rate figures for the state of Hawai‘i and the U.S. in this release are seasonally adjusted, in accordance with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics methodology.

In August of 2020, the state was seeing a 14.1% unemployment rate, with Kaua‘i at 20.1%.

This week, the U.S. Department of Labor and the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations entered into a voluntary conciliation agreement to ensure those with limited English proficiency and eligible non-U.S. citizens seeking to file claims for unemployment insurance benefits have better access to services.

The agreement follows an investigation by the federal department’s Civil Rights Center into complaints that the state’s UI program was failing to make its services fully available to those two groups. During the investigation, the state labor department offered to work with CRC to resolve the complaints amicably.

“This agreement symbolizes how federal and state governments can work together to improve access to government services for limited-English-proficient communities and others protected by civil-rights law, particularly during these difficult times,” said Civil Rights Center Director Naomi Barry-Perez.

“We appreciate Hawai‘i’s commitment to non-discrimination and its willingness to address these allegations affirmatively and cooperatively,” she said.

To provide better access to LEP claimants and eligible non-U.S. citizens, DLIR has, among other actions, agreed to:

• Reinstate non-electronic methods of filing UI claims and appeals;

• Ensure vital information is provided in select non-English languages as required by law;

• Provide interpretation and translation services to individuals with limited English proficiency upon request or where otherwise required by law;

• Ensure that its claims-filing system captures all the information needed to establish whether non-U.S. citizen applicants are eligible to receive UI benefits;

• Train staff on the state’s citizenship and limited-English-proficiency-related obligations under the laws enforced by the Civil Rights Center;.

• Periodically review the language-assistance services provided by its offices to ensure that those services are timely, accurate and effective.

CRC enforces nondiscrimination laws that apply to the nation’s unemployment-insurance program, as well as to other recipients of financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor and, in some circumstances, from other federal departments and agencies.

For more information about the center, visit the Civil Rights Center’s website, dol.gov/agencies/oasam/centers-offices/civil-rights-center or call 202-693-6500 (voice) or 800-877-8339 (relay).

  1. YuCalJoe September 22, 2021 2:35 am Reply

    Why work when you get paid to stay home? The bill for that is coming due soon, and we will all suffer from the stupid actions by the government and those taking the free ride.

  2. Mark September 22, 2021 3:44 am Reply

    And unemployment on Kauai will remain high. It will be almost impossible now to get people to work again. To many will continue to game the system. This will be just one of the disasters of socialism. Shutting down Kauai was a terrible idea. There is no such thing as free money. Some one has to pay for all the FREE stuff . Socialism and free stuff is very expensive as Kauai will now start to understand. Way to go liberals.

  3. wil dargan September 22, 2021 12:14 pm Reply

    Unemployment on Kauai will eventually level out. the people of Kauai are resilient, hard working and good people. Thank goodness we have a system in place that can help support those in need. Yes! We may have a few bad actors that take advantage of a good system and this is seen world-wide since the beginning of time. For the most part, people are honest and willing to work an honest job that provides for their families. Look to the positive and please continue to help those in need. Kauaian’s are good, good people and when someone needs help, we should ALL (within our means) be willing to lend a helping hand. God will sow out the wheat from the chaff. Mahalo

  4. Dirtman September 22, 2021 4:28 pm Reply

    Bunch of buns. I love when I’m in line at the store and the people in front of me have their cart filled with junk and good stuff. You know, the stuff I would like to have too, but can’t because I have to pinch pennies, because I’m working. Paying my bills my self. And then they walk out to their jacked up brand new truck with sweet rims. Yeah. I feel bad for those bums. Give them more. They deserve all the hand outs. They work hard stealing my money. Yeahhhhhh for Kauai. You bums.

    1. Waterford September 23, 2021 12:09 pm Reply

      So, you work hard and make less than someone on unemployment? And this is the fault of…

  5. andy September 22, 2021 6:54 pm Reply

    Thank you Wil , it’s always refreshing to read a comment or letter that is actually reasonable and well thought out, not to mention compassionate. Socialism has nothing to do with free rides and handouts, unless you think that having police departments, fire departments, Social Security, Medicare, and so many other things like roads, bridges, and airports, are handouts. The reality is that we all work hard and pay taxes to pay for these things that benefit all of us, and we also lend a helping hand to those in our community who LEGITIMATELY need the help. If some folks abuse the system, then of course that should be addressed, but helping a fellow human is never wrong.

  6. Empathy September 23, 2021 10:03 am Reply

    The people in this comment section who are angry at those receiving a livable wage.. I hope god teaches you a lesson in compassion. So many of these folks had been making Hawai’i’s ridiculously low minimum wage for years and suddenly, for a brief moment in their human existence, their backs receive a break. God forbid people are treated decently in their life.

    Plus it’s also not like this money “disappeared”– it was spent! That’s how economies keep on rolling. I saw people eating out locally who hadn’t been able to eat out in years because of the rent, tuition, wages, etc. Every car repair shop is BOOMING on kauai. People used that government money to put cars on Turo instead of Hertz. People went to ace to repair their homes, they paid off debt, they went to farmers markets.

  7. LTEreader September 23, 2021 11:02 am Reply

    @ Mark
    You’re obviously out of touch with reality. The unemployment ‘extensions’ ended Sept. 5. Anyone still collecting unemployment has been laid off within the last 26 weeks, which is as long as one can receive benefits now that there are no more extensions.
    Another point you’ve overlooked. Everyone collecting unemployment HAD TO BE WORKING in order to file for it, had an employer who paid into UI, and the amount issued is based on their previous income. Way to go uninformed Republican. SMH.

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