Hawaii Unemployment Vs. the Mainland


October 3, 2014

Although many prospective Maui home buyers are in the market for a real estate investment or second home, many others want to live here full-time, and make a good living doing it. Uncertainties tend to come up about the job market in Hawaii, but some recent data may relieve them.

According to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.3 percent in August, compared to 4.4 percent in July and 4.8 percent in August of last year. So we know that the job market is making its way in the right direction, little by little, but that’s not the only good news.

The report showed that the national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in August was 6.1 percent, compared with 7.2 percent in August of last year. That means that Hawaii’s unemployment was nearly two points lower than the national average in August. As with anywhere else you’re thinking of moving to, you just have to investigate whether you can find the right kind of work in that state. If you’re curious about unemployment by island, Oahu was at 3.8 percent, Maui at 4 percent, Kauai at 4.7 percent and the Big Island at 5.3 percent. All improved year-over-year.

But what about how other states performed? Just because Hawaii unemployment was below the national average doesn’t mean there aren’t other states you’d rather live that are performing better, right? Well according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, those states are Nebraska with 3.6, North Dakota with 2.8, South Dakota with 3.6, Utah with 3.6, and Vermont with 4.1. It’s up to you to evaluate whether you’d choose one of those states over Hawaii. Before you ask, California’s unemployment rate was 7.4 percent and New York’s was 6.4, and we have nicer weather.

Hopefully this is some useful food for thought if you’re considering a move and Maui real estate purchase. As for help with the latter, you’ll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo for reading this week!

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