LIHU‘E — A contracting labor force coupled with the addition of more jobs helped send the jobless rate down 1 full percentage point in July, as businesses continued to seek employees on Kaua‘i.
The unemployment rate settled at 2.5 percent in July, down from 3.5 percent in July 2022, according to monthly data released by the Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development &Tourism.
The most recent reading was the lowest for the month since the jobless rate weighed in at 2.5 percent in pre-pandemic July 2019.
The accommodation sector was the largest contributor to the local economy, as it added 300 people to bring its total to 4,200 in July. That marked an increase of 7.7 in the period.
Retail trade ranked second in the period, as the sector added 200 people to end up with 4,000 employees. That was up 5.5 percent.
Three other sectors — transportation, warehousing and utilities, professional and business services, and health care and social assistance — each added 100 jobs in June. That marked gains of 5.9 percent, 3.4 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively.
Three other sectors — food service and drinking places, financial activities and federal government — each shed 100 jobs in July. That marked decreases of 2.3 percent, 9.1 percent and 16.7 percent, respectively.
All told, civilian employment eased to 36,800 in July from 37,100 in July 2022, the monthly data showed. At the same time, the total labor force rose to 35,900 from 35,750 in the same period.
The jobless rate on Kaua‘i stacked up nicely with neighboring islands in July. The rate on O‘ahu fell to 2.6 percent in July from 3.5 percent in July 2022, while the Hawai‘i Island figure dropped to 3.2 percent from 3.9 percent.
Maui matched Kaua‘i with the lowest unemployment rate on the four major islands at 2.5 percent in July, which was down from 3.4 percent in July 2022. Statewide, the jobless rate decreased to 2.8 percent from 3.5 percent in the same period.
Wyatt Haupt Jr., editor, can be reached at 808-245-0457 or email@example.com.
Source: The Garden Island