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Hawaii's labor force participation rate increasing, jobs report shows

Hawaii saw a slight increase in its unemployment rate in May 2022, but the state is expanding its labor force.

Hawaii's unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a percentage point from April to 4.2% in May this year. However, the state also saw a slight increase in the size of its labor force. There were 673,350 people in Hawaii's labor force in April 2022; the figure increased to 675,800 in May 2022. That's an increase of 2,500, according to Governor David Ige's office.

That said, there were simultaneously more people employed and unemployed in May 2022 than in April 2022.

The state of Hawaii's workforce has been improving over the last 12 months. Its labor force increased by 7,400 people from May 2021 to May 2022.

Additionally, the state's unemployment rate dropped by 1.7 points in that stretch. Hawaii had 10,900 fewer people unemployed this past May than it did in May of last year.

The unemployment rate varies depending on the part of Hawaii in question. In Honolulu, for example, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.4% -- the same rate as the rest of the United States.

Meanwhile, on Hawaii's fifth-largest island, Molokaʻi, the unemployment rate was 10.6% – up from 7.5% at the same time last year.

Hawaii's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (4.1%) was slightly higher than the national rate; the U.S. unemployment rate had been 3.6% for three consecutive months.

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