1. HAWAII’S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE INCREASED FROM 6.1 PERCENT IN JULY TO 6.2 PERCENT IN AUGUST. WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?
The basic reason is that the number of Hawaii’s people in the labor force and without jobs increased by 900.
One reason is the continuing weakness in the tourism this summer with declines in June and July and almost no gains in August.
2. THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE EMPLOYED IN THE STATE DECREASED FROM JULY TO AUGUST. WHICH SECTORS WERE MOST RESPONSIBLE?
The State lost 5,100 jobs in August. Almost all of the decline was due to the government sector which lost 5,700 jobs. By contrast, there were 600 more jobs in the private sector, with both construction and finance registering gains and leisure/hospitality registering small losses.
The weakness in the government sector is likely due to the phase-out of federal government stimulus programs, a hiring freeze for some positions imposed by the State of Hawaii, and the four counties’ cutbacks to keep operating budgets balanced.
3. THE US STOCK MARKETS RALLIED THIS WEEK … WHAT’S GOING ON?
The decision by Germany and France on Wednesday to stand by Greece and the injection of liquidity into major European banks by five major central banks have encouraged investors that Europe has regained the will to solve its debt problems. And the decision by Brazil, a big booming developing country, to join in the aid package to Greece is also important, as its government is recognizing that a crisis in Europe could bring its growth to a halt.
4. ANY OTHER FACTORS?
President Obama’s decision to fight aggressively for his new jobs program is also a big positive, as this puts some pressure on Republicans to compromise in the coming Congressional budget negotiations.