Here's how unemployment in Honolulu compares

Written by:
November 20, 2023

Here's how unemployment in Honolulu compares

Honolulu County/city's unemployment rate in September was 2.6%—ranked #3 highest out of 4 in the state.

Nationally, unemployment has leveled with pre-COVID rates, measuring between 3.5% and 4% for most of the past two years. Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed a 3.8% unemployment rate in September. Previously, unemployment skyrocketed to 14.7% at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, and those rates remained elevated through late 2021.

Though national unemployment has mostly normalized, local economies vary widely. Stacker used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to analyze unemployment in Honolulu County/city over time, and how it stacks up within Hawaii and across the nation.

The unemployment rate in Honolulu County/city is 1.2 percentage points below the national level, and 0.2 percentage points below the state level. It ranks #3 among counties in Hawaii—ranked first by the preliminary September 2023 unemployment rate, then breaking ties by the number of unemployed people. It trails behind Hawaii County, with an unemployment rate of 2.8%, but surpasses Kauai County (2.4%).

In real terms, it means an estimated 11,890 of Honolulu County/city's approximately 456,525 working residents are out of a job at the moment. That's 911 fewer than last month and 5,018 fewer than a year ago. Some economists fret another recession may be on the horizon, which would drive unemployment up with business closures and layoffs.

This story was produced using automation across 3,100 counties, boroughs, and parishes, based on writing and data reporting by Paxtyn Merten.

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