Hawaii’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.5 Percent in January

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Illustration by Emily Metcalf

REPORT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR —The Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) announced today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January fell to 6.5 percent from 6.6 percent in December.

In comparison with one year ago, total seasonally adjusted nonagricultural jobs have increased by 4,400, with the largest job expansion in Leisure & Hospitality (+3,300) and Professional & Business Services (+2,600).


Initial claims for unemployment benefits were down 13.5% and total weeks claimed down 9% compared to one year ago. Despite the recent closure of the Hawaii Medical Centers East and West, total weeks claimed have fallen 8% since January, while initial claims declined by 29%.

“This is another reflection that indicates that our state is continuing to recover from the Great Recession,” said DLIR Director Dwight Takamine. “While the tourism industry is fueling our overall recovery, the ongoing expansion of the business sector and the precipitous drop in initial unemployment and total weeks claims clearly indicate the positive momentum moving our economy forward.”