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Kaua‘i jobless rate drops to 4.4 percent

LIHU‘E — The County of Kaua‘i’s labor market was in a hiring mood in the penultimate month of the year, as key sectors rang up big gains to continue a post-pandemic rebound.

As a result, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.4 percent in November 2022 from 5.9 percent in November 2021, according to monthly data released by the state Department of Business, Economic Development &Tourism.

The food services and drinking places sector paced the job growth, as its employment rolls climbed to 4,400 in November 2022 from 3,700 in November 2021. That marked an increase of 18.9 percent.

At the same time, the accommodation sector increased its rosters to 4,000 from 3,400. That was up 17.6 percent. Arts, entertainment and recreation notched the biggest percentage increase in the period at 44.4 percent to 1,300 from 900.

Professional and business services and mining each added 200 jobs in the period, while manufacturing pitched in 100.

On the downside, wholesale trade, state government, financial activities, health care and social assistance each posted a decrease of 100 jobs. The retail trade sector had the largest drop off, as it shed 200 jobs in the period.

The unemployment rate in November 2022 also fell across the island chain, the Department of Business, Economic Development &Tourism’s monthly data showed.

The rate on O‘ahu fell to 3.8 percent in November 2022 from 4.4 percent in November 2021; to 4.1 percent from 4.5 percent on Hawai‘i Island; and, to 4.3 percent from 5.7 percent in Maui County. Statewide, the jobless rate dropped to 4 percent from 4.7 percent.

Looking ahead, the county’s unemployment rate is projected to dip below the 4 percent mark next year.

“Your forecast for the whole year, for Kaua‘i, is 3.8 percent,” said Carl Bonham, executive director of The Economic Research Organization of the University of Hawai‘i. He made his remarks during a recent conference call to discuss the University of Hawai‘i’s 2022 fourth quarter forecast, released in December.

The county’s jobless rate is also estimated to fall in the years ahead, to 3.6 percent in 2024 and 3 percent in 2025, as the island economy grows on the back of more projected visitor arrivals.

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Wyatt Haupt Jr., editor, can be reached at 808-245-0457 or whaupt@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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