State Employment Predicted to Expand by 2.9%
By Maui Now Stafff
The Hawaiʻi State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations has released its “Employment Forecasts for the Short-Term Future – 2016” publication.
The study forecasts that statewide employment will expand by 2.9%, or 19,760 jobs, from the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2016.
All major industries will display growth, but the construction industry will again lead the state’s economic recovery with the fastest growth rate (8.5 percent), creating 2,580 new jobs.
In addition to construction, all major occupational groups should experience positive job growth, producing 10,020 annual openings, in addition to 17,050 annual openings that arise due to replacement needs. The forecasted average annual number of total job openings during the 2014 to 2016 period is anticipated to be 27,070.
Larger occupations with slower growth rates will probably dominate the top 20 occupations with the most job openings. Eight of these occupations are in the food preparation and service-related group: waiters and waitresses; combined food preparation and serving workers; counter attendants of cafeteria, food concession, and coffee shops; hosts and hostesses of restaurants, lounges, and coffee shops; food preparation workers; dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers; restaurant cooks; and dishwashers.
The report predicts that construction and extraction jobs will grow the most rapidly at 6.1 percent, creating 1,540 job openings annually. Fast-growing jobs include cement masons and concrete finishers; paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operators; carpenters helpers; reinforcing iron and rebar workers; construction laborers; plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters; electricians; supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers; sheet metal workers; tile and marble setters; and drywall and ceiling tile installers. Jobs in services, the largest group of occupations, will contribute the greatest number of job openings with 8,810 annually. Many of these jobs will be of the food preparation and serving related variety, and others will be in sales and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance.