Experts Predict Growth in Jobs, Income on Big Island
by Nate Gaddis
Tourism will lead the Big Island’s economic recovery, and construction activity will finally turn the corner this year, according to the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.
In the public summary of UHERO’s latest county forecast, researchers predicted that Hawaii County would lead the state in visitor arrival growth, attributing part of the increase to “a 13% post-quake snapback of Japanese visitors.”
Construction activity has been slow to recover, and although researchers don’t expect building activity to match pre-recession levels any time soon, they still forecast 7% job growth in the construction industry across all counties by 2014.
The tourism industry’s recovery should aid the growth of personal income on the Big Island, forecast to rise 2.2% this year, and accelerating to 4% growth by 2014. Payroll job growth is also expected to keep rising over the next three years.
Researchers caution that oil price shocks, the European debt crisis, and volatile domestic politics could all threaten to slow Hawaii’s economic recovery.