HONOLULU — Hawaii’s unemployment rate dropped to a record-low 2.2 percent last month, according to newly released numbers.
The figures from the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations marked the lowest jobless rate since the current recording methodology went into effect in 1976. It’s lower than the previous record of 2.4 percent reached in 1989 and 2006, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser newspaper reported .
While the unemployment rate dropped, the state’s labor force also declined. The smaller labor force may be a result of people leaving the state to pursue jobs elsewhere, said Eugene Tian, chief economist for the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
The labor force includes people who are employed and self-employed and those who are unemployed but actively seeking work. The number decreased by 2,200, to 686,600, from September to October.
The number of employed people decreased by 300, to 671,450.
The leisure and hospitality sector saw the largest gain, with the number of jobs increasing by 1,000. Construction jobs also saw an increase, rising by 800.
Jobs in education and health services experienced the largest loss, decreasing by 600 positions. The trade, transportation and utilities sector as well as the professional and business services sector both lost 500 jobs.
“Some industries continue to perform well while others continue to lose jobs,” Tian said.
Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com