HONOLULU (KHON2) — When the pandemic began in 2020, the unemployment rate in Hawaii increased drastically each month, forcing some residents to make the decision of staying at home to avoid getting the virus or working with reduced hours due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Two years later, being an essential worker is a thing of the past. There are no more COVID-19 mandates, wearing a mask is optional, no travel bans and President Joe Biden’s administration lifted the COVID-19 test requirement for international travel this past Sunday.

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According to the Hawai’i State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 4.2%, compared to 5.9% in May of 2021. It slightly decreased statewide by 1.7%.

Courtesy of DBEDT

What does May’s unemployment rate imply? It means fewer people are unemployed. DBEDT said jobs increased by 21,800 from May 2021 to May 2022.

The state’s Seasonally Adjusted Labor Force Data said there were 647,600 people employed and 28,250 individuals unemployed statewide in May compared to 629,300 employed, and 39,150 unemployed in May of 2021.

That means 10,900 individuals went back to work within a year from May of 2021.

Courtesy of DBEDT

Government, leisure & hospitality, along with trade, transportation & utilities were the top-ranked industries with the most employed individuals statewide yet the government industry experienced a 300 decrease in employment over the past month.

Althought things are looking up for some industries, for others there was a decrease in employment of job opportunities over the past year.

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DBEDT said total nonagricultural jobs decreased by 1,500 over the month. Job losses were experienced in the Information, -200, Construction, -300, Trade, Transportation & Utility, -500, Financial Activities, -600, and Education & Health Services, -700.

To view the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, click here.