Hawai’i’s Announced 71,800 New Jobs During Lingle-Aiona Administration, Nearly 12,200 New Jobs Added Since 2006


Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate at 3.2 Percent in December; 2.6 Percent for 2007

Honolulu, HI (CompNewsNetwork) - The Hawai‘i State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was 3.2 percent, a 0.3 percentage point increase over November. In comparison, the national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate also rose by a similar level, going from 4.7 percent in November to 5.0 percent in December.

For the calendar year 2007, Hawai‘i's annual average unemployment rate was 2.6 percent, while the U.S. unemployment rate was two percentage points higher at 4.6 percent. In December, there were 626,850 employed and 20,750 unemployed, for a seasonally adjusted labor force of 647,600.

Industry Payroll Employment
In another measure of employment, total seasonally adjusted nonagricultural jobs increased over-the-month from November by 3,100 to 632,200. Job gains were experienced in Educational and Health Services (+300), Leisure and Hospitality (+300) and Trade, Transportation & Utilities (+200). State government posted the largest job growth in State Government predominantly in State Education.

Since December 2006, the seasonally adjusted job count expanded by 9,700 or 1.6 percent with the private sector contributing 84.5 percent of the increase most notably in Leisure & Hospitality (+2,200), Construction (+1,400) and Educational & Health Services (+1,200). For the year 2007, the annual average for total nonagricultural jobs was 628,600. In comparison, the annual average in 2006 was 616,400, an increase of 12,200 or 2.0 percent over the year.

Alternatively, in 2002 the average annual job count was 556,800. In 2007, the average annual job count was 628,600. During the Lingle-Aiona Administration, 71,800 new jobs have been created.

"Hawai‘i continues to show a strong performance in creating new jobs adding nearly 72,000 jobs in the past five years from 2002 while its unemployment rate remains at low levels", said Darwin L.D. Ching, Director of Labor and Industrial Relations. "Hawai‘i's job market remains strong compared to the rest of the nation as reflected in the average 2.6 percent unemployment rate for 2007."

Educational and Health Services (+300)
This group reported a moderate gain of 300 jobs. Educational services remained unchanged. Health Service and Social Assistance accounted for the entire increase. The increases occurred in physicians' offices as well as home health care services.

Leisure and Hospitality (+300)
Leisure and Hospitality also gained 300 jobs. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation sector was essentially unchanged. Accommodation and Food Services comprised the total increase mainly in Accommodation. The bulk of the growth was due to the reopening of a Maui hotel, which rehired many of its released employees after closing for renovation about six months ago.

Trade, Transportation & Utilities (+200)
This sector registered a modest growth since November. Wholesale Trade gained 100 jobs for the second month. The increase was shared among refrigeration equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers and beer, wine, and distilled alcoholic beverage merchant wholesalers. The increase in this industry was countered by the minimal 100 job loss in Retail Trade which occurred mainly in grocery stores and department stores. Transportation made up the total 200 job gain as a major water transportation company resumed partial operations rehiring most of its released workers.

Construction (No change)
This category remained relatively stable after registering a moderate 400 job growth in November. The industry was unchanged in part due to bad weather conditions. Within the construction of building category, the increase in residential building construction in new multifamily housing construction (except operative builders) was offset by the decrease in nonresidential building construction in commercial and institutional building construction.

Other Services (-100)
This miscellaneous group registered a minimal decrease in jobs. The drop was experienced in parking lots and garages and grant-making foundations.

Government (+2,800)
Government jobs increased by the largest over-the-month, with the total job gain of 2,800 occurring mainly in the State Department of Education. Both Federal and Local Government remained unchanged. The large increase was mostly due to the shifting of the school schedule as public schools continued its unified session.

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