• Hawaiʻi State Senate

Hawai'i's unemployment rate at 13.9 percent in June - Jobs declined by 94,700 over-the-year


The Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) today announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June was 13.9 percent compared to the revised rate of 23.5 percent in May. Statewide, 527,600 were employed and 85,200 unemployed in June for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 612,800. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 11.1 percent in June, down from 13.3 percent in May.

The DLIR would like to note that the COVID-19 Pandemic is impacting the data derived from the Current Population Survey (CPS), the survey used to produce the unemployment rate, also known as the household survey. In the household survey, individuals are classified as employed, unemployed, or not in the labor force based on questions about their activities during the survey reference week (June 7th through June 13th).

COVID-19-related issues are affecting the counts and the official level of unemployment published for the State of Hawai‘i by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The major discrepancy, with the exception of those unemployed on temporary layoff, is that individuals without a job who are not actively seeking work, particularly during this time of government-ordered business closures and social distancing requirements, are classified as not in the labor force in the CPS.

The CPS misclassification issue of workers who were recorded as “employed but not at work” instead of “unemployed on temporary layoff” is a contributing factor and the low response rate for the CPS during the pandemic is possibly another factor. More information on CPS can be found in the Technical Notes and BLS’s web site provides more information about the impact of COVID-19 on the household survey data (click on BLS COVID-19 Employment Situation FAQs under Related links on the HIWI Labor Force and Unemployment webpage).

The unemployment rate figures for the State of Hawai‘i and the U.S. in this release are seasonally adjusted, in accordance with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) methodology. The not seasonally adjusted rate for the State was 14.4 percent in June, compared to the revised rate of 23.4 percent in May.



Initial claims for unemployment benefits continued to decrease, declining by 32.2 percent over the month. Meanwhile, weeks claims continued its ascent, increasing by 4.9 percent as establishments remained closed due to COVID-19. In contrast to one year ago, initial claims increased by 6,260 or 499 percent and weeks claims grew by 118,601 or 1671 percent.

Industry Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey)

In a separate measure of employment, total nonagricultural jobs increased by 18,300 in June over May. Job gains occurred in Leisure & Hospitality (+12,300), Professional & Business Services (+1,500), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (+1,100), Construction (+800), Other Services (+200), and Financial Activities (+100). Within Leisure & Hospitality, job expansion was roughly split between Accommodation and Food Services & Drinking Places. In the Professional & Business Services sector, just under two-thirds of the rise was in Administrative and Support & Waste Management & Remediation Services. Within the Trade, Transportation, & Utilities grouping, the employment gains were concentrated in Retail Trade.

Job losses were experienced in Manufacturing (-100), Information (-100), and Education & Health Services (-400). Government employment rose by 2,900, with gains in the Department of Education (small increase from May to June versus usual May to June drop off) and in the Department of Health. Compared with one year ago, there has been a decline of 94,700 (-14.5 percent) nonfarm jobs, while the comparison with just three months ago (March) has the job count contracting by slightly more, at -95,300 or -14.6 percent.


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Copyright 2019 Hawai`i Senate Majority

Hawai`i State Capitol
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Honolulu, HI 96813