The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism reports that third-quarter data shows Hawaii’s economy “continues to expand,” according to a press release.

“We are pleased to see that our labor market condition is still among the best in the nation,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “Through July of this year, our labor force, employment, and payroll job count are at record high levels, and our unemployment rate was fourth lowest in the nation during the first seven months of this year.”

DBEDT sees steady growth ahead at 1.9 percent for 2016, and about 2 percent over the next several years.

The rate is higher than the U.S. growth rate of 1.5 percent.

Ala Moana Center construction2
Ala Moana Center under construction. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

A lot of the growth is due to all those buildings going up in the Honolulu area.

“Construction jobs reached 40,000 in the second quarter of 2016, the same level as the fourth quarter of 2007, when construction was at its previous peak level,” said Chief State Economist Eugene Tian. “Due to the labor constraint, building permit applications slowed during the first quarter of 2016, but the value of authorized building permits increased during the second quarter of 2016.”

Tian added, “We expect the value of building permits will pick up more during the second half of the year.”

Visitor arrivals and expenditures, which increased increased during the first seven months of the year, are also a positive indicator. 

Read the full report.

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