Job Hunch - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

February 17, 2011

Job Hunch

While the number of new jobs in Hawaii is expected to grow this year for the first time in four years, it sure seems like a slow recovery in this part of the economic puzzle. The construction industry is rebounding, as is the hospitality sector, and health care and retail are also expected to see growth.

But it is a national malaise as job growth seems stunted vis a vis to the reports you hear about companies bouncing back with record earnings after a couple of freefall years. Part of the problem is that companies are loathe to hire too quickly, fearful that yet another recession will force them to make cuts like they were forced to make over the past three years. Another part of the problem is that companies are now more likely to see the new norm, where they have higher expectations for increased productivity from the existing workforce in place. Yes, everyone seems to be doing a little bit more nowadays- and it's the new norm and the accepted expectation from higher-ups.

So while the jobless rate in Hawaii may dip below 5% in a couple of years- again, slow movement- it still does not look like it will soon get back into the 2-3% range of the glory day- a whopping five years ago. Such is the new reality of the economy and how companies respond to uncertainty in this second decade of the 21st century. Think about it…

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