According to the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, Hawaii’s initial unemployment claims dropped an impressive 9.3 percent for the week ending on September 4th compared to the same week last year.
What does that look like as far as quantity? Claims were at 2,656 last year and now they are at 2,408. According to the US Census Bureau, Hawaii has a population of 1,295,178 people. It’s exciting to know that the small percentage of the population that is unemployed is shrinking further still.
As for the breakdown by island, Oahu had the most claims at 1,346, which actually increased by 0.4 percent. Maui claims plunged, however. We had 33.8 percent fewer claims than a year ago with just 364. Big Island claims dropped by 10.9 percent with 458 and Kauai claims dropped by 1.2 percent with 169 claims.
So overall, Oahu and Kauai are lagging, the Big Island is making some progress and Maui is leading the charge to recovery. Why? Maui tourism has been picking up some very substantial momentum, which, in all likelihood, is responsible for the reduction in unemployment claims.
The fact that Maui’s visitor industry makes up such a large portion of the economy is really a testimony to its natural beauty and the great experience that visitors routinely have while they are here. That should be validating to residents and Maui homeowners.
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