More than 60,000 job openings projected for Hawaii in next two years

More than 60,000 job openings projected for Hawaii in next two years
Published: Mar. 10, 2014 at 11:01 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Great news for jobseekers -- statewide employment is expected to grow by 4%, or 26,880 new jobs, in the next two years.

The projection comes from the Hawai'i State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations release of its "Employments Forecasts for the Short Term - 2015".

"These kinds of projections are occurring across the country right now and I think Hawai'i may be a little bit in front of the curve given all the circumstances that we see," said Dwight Takamine, the state's department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director.

Experts say it was the tourism industry that helped pull Hawai'i out of the Great Recession, but it will be the construction industry that will lead future job growth and strengthen the state's economic recovery.

"Construction is of course right now ranked as the highest job producer and we're beginning to see those kinds of numbers as projects like the rail and as jobs in Kaka'ako begin to materialize," said Takamine.  "We see increases pretty much across the board so I think that's a good signal in terms of not relying solely on just one or two sectors, but clearly construction seems to stand above the others."

The construction industry is projected to lead job growth with the fastest pace, 16.7%, as well as by creating the most jobs, 4,960.

Analysts say the fastest growing construction jobs include: elevator installers and repairers, iron and rebar workers, cement masons and concrete finishers, along with carpenters, roofers and electricians.

The visitor industry will grow more modestly, but thousands of positions in food and beverage services are projected.

"Hopefully the continuing economic recovery means that one there will be more jobs.  Clearly as we look at the numbers of not only new jobs but job replacements -- that number stands at a little over 60,000 -- and again that is for the period between 2013 and 2015.  We're hopeful that our declining unemployment rate will decline even further and that will mean many more workers being able to engage in jobs and livelihoods that will allow them to provide better for their family and loved ones," said Takamine.

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