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Jobless rate plunges to 2.3 percent on Kaua‘i

LIHU‘E — A stout labor market posted its lowest unemployment rate since the infancy of the COVID-19 era, amid a pop in employment rolls on the island of Kaua‘i.

The end result was the jobless rate plunged to 2.3 percent in November 2023 from 3.8 percent in November 2022, according to monthly data released by the Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development &Tourism.

The most recent reading was the lowest among the four major counties in the Hawaiian Island chain and the lowest on Kaua‘i since March 2020, when the unemployment rate measured 2.1 percent.

The labor market was paced by the accommodation sector, which added 200 jobs to bring its total to 4,300 in November 2023. That was up 4.9 percent in the period.

Five sectors — state government, retail trade, professional and business services, other and local government — each added 100 positions in the period. The other service sector notched the highest percentage gain at 9.1 percent.

On the downside, the arts, entertainment and recreation sector and the natural resources, mining and construction sector each shed 200 jobs in November 2023. The financial activities sector lopped off 100 jobs.

All told, civilian employment jumped to 35,950 in November 2023 from 35,450 in November 2022, while the labor force was unchanged at 36,800.

The highest unemployment rate recorded on the four major islands was on Maui at 6.2 percent in November 2023. That was up from 3.7 percent in November 2022.

The jobless rate on O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island each weighed in at 2.5 percent in November 2023. That was down from 3.9 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively, in November 2022.

Statewide, the unemployment rate dropped to 2.9 percent in November 2023 from 3.9 percent in November 2022. Data not seasonally adjusted.
Source: The Garden Island

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