Think About It: Unemployment Update - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

November 7, 2013

Think About It: Unemployment Update

Unemployment in Honolulu was 3.8% in August, according to a story in last week's Honolulu Star-Advertiser. That ranks Honolulu as having the 8th lowest unemployment rate among 347 metropolitan areas in the country. The top three markets? All in North and South Dakota, and we're not there in winter, so we have that going for us.  Actually, eight of the top 10 markets for low unemployment rates are in cold-weather states.

As the report measures unemployment rates, it does not take into account those folks who have given up on finding jobs for now, those who have opted to go back to school and thus are not in the job market, and those who have had multiple jobs and while they might be employed, they are really underemployed as they have seen hours or part-time jobs cut back or eliminated.

We may be a few years past the depths of the recession of 2008 and 2009, but there is still this sense that we are slogging through mud with the economy- moving forward, but ever so slowly. And the three-ring circus in Washington, D.C., is not helping the confidence level of consumers or business leaders who might actually think of re-hiring people laid off a few years back. Many companies seeing record profits nowadays are quite simply not going to re-hire, unless they expand, as they have asked everyone on the payroll to do more with less- and it's working, at least on the ledger sheet. So while low unemployment numbers are back in Honolulu, the question still remains as to when heightened consumer and employer optimism and confidence will come back. Think about it…

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