A. Labor Force & Jobs

1st Quarter 2019 Report

Download Labor Data Tables (spreadsheet)

Hawaii’s labor market conditions were mixed in the fourth quarter of 2018. Since the civilian labor force decreased less than the decrease in civilian employment, the civilian unemployment rate increased to 2.5 percent in the quarter. For the 33rd consecutive quarter-over-quarter, civilian non-agricultural wage and salary jobs increased.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, the civilian labor force averaged 679,550 people, a decrease of 2,000 people or 0.3 percent from the same quarter of 2017 (Table A-1). In 2018, the civilian labor force declined by 600 people or 0.1 percent from the previous year.

Civilian employment totaled 662,700 people in the fourth quarter of 2018, a decrease of 5,350 people or 0.8 percent compared to the same quarter of 2017 (Table A-2). In 2018, average civilian employment increased 150 people or 0.02 percent from the previous year.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, the number of civilian unemployed averaged 16,850, an increase of 3,350 people or 24.8 percent from the same quarter of 2017 (Table A-3). In 2018, the number of unemployed declined by 800 people or 4.9 percent from the previous year.

The unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) increased from 2.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 to 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 (Table A-4). In 2018, the unemployment rate decreased 0.1 of a percentage point to 2.3 percent from 2.4 percent in the previous year.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, Hawaii’s non-agricultural wage and salary jobs averaged 671,600 jobs, an increase of 10,600 jobs or 1.6 percent from the same quarter of 2017 (Table A-6). This is the 33rd consecutive quarter-over-quarter increase in non-agricultural wage and salary jobs after ten consecutive quarter-over-quarter decreases in jobs since the second quarter of 2008. In 2018, average non-agricultural wage and salary jobs increased 1.7 percent or 10,800 jobs from the previous year.

The job growth in the fourth quarter of 2018 was due to job increases in both the private sector and the government sector. In this quarter, the private sector added about 9,300 non-agricultural jobs compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. Jobs increased the most in Professional & Business Services, adding 3,800 jobs or 4.6 percent (Table A-14). This was followed by Food Services and Drinking Places, adding 2,900 jobs or 4.1 percent (Table A-19), Financial Activities, adding 1,800 jobs or 6.3 percent (Table A-13), and Health Care & Social Assistance, adding 1,000 jobs or 1.4 percent (Table A-16) in the quarter.

For the private sector, in the fourth quarter of 2018, Natural Resources, Mining & Construction lost 1,400 jobs (Table A-7), Accommodation last 600 jobs (Table A-18), and Manufacturing lost 300 jobs (Table A-8) in the quarter.

The three levels of government added 1,300 jobs or 1.0 percent (Table A-21) in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter of 2017. The Federal Government lost 100 jobs or 0.3 percent (Table A-22); State Government added 1,200 jobs or 1.6 percent (Table A-23), and Local Government added 200 jobs or 1.1 percent (Table A-24), compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.

The initial liable claims for unemployment, which measures the number of people who lost jobs in Hawaii and moved to other states, increased 8.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter of 2017 (Table A-27). In 2018, the initial liable claims for unemployment decreased 8.6 percent from the previous year.