Unemployment figures reported in December remained fairly steady statewide, unless you are looking at Molokai where a significant decline was reported.
Usually targeted as an island that struggles economically, Molokai has shown signs of life in its job market. The Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced that Molokai’s unemployment figures, while still higher than the rest of the state, actually decreased faster than any other island.
The October 2013 unemployment rate of 7.5 percent on Molokai is down from 11.2 percent in September and 14.4 percent a year ago. Nationally, seasonally adjusted unemployment figures were at 7.3 percent in October.
It is not known right now if these favorable numbers for Molokai are a result of job growth or if unemployed people are just dropping from the official count because they no longer receive state unemployment benefits. Perhaps more people are taking advantage of Molokai’s second economy of hunting, fishing, gathering and bartering, but no information is available to support this.
The State of Hawaii reported that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November was 4.4 percent, unchanged from October. Statewide, there were 622,450 employed and 29,000 unemployed in November, for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 651,400.
Statewide numbers were largely unchanged. Maui County’s unemployment rate inched up to 4.9 percent in October from 4.8 percent in September. In October 2012, that number was 5.5 percent. Lanai saw unemployment climb from 4.0 percent in September to 4.4 percent in October.