Local Connection: The Economy

By Rick Blangiardi

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Employers cut 160 thousand jobs. Another 200 thousand retired or gave up looking for work. America? Hey, I'm talking about Japan! Japan, where industrial production is up.

The Japanese work force has shrunk to its smallest size since 1987.

In Hawaii, we want to more quickly re-employ 14-thousand people who are now on unemployment.

There's a lot of pain compared to the boom times of a few years ago. But to keep things in perspective, our situation isn't so bad, compared to the mainland. Hawaii unemployment remains far lower than the national rate.

Out of 372 US cities, only 20 have lower unemployment than Honolulu.

If you're still eager to be glum, you might cite the higher jobless rate on the Big Island. But then I'll cite California's inland empire, where joblessness is twice that bad. We have real problems - but we also have a funk about the economy that is not justified by facts.

Our business leaders should take a stroll through the mall, watch all the money being spent shopping, and then rethink their own bunker mentality.

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