At what point do you stop being “hot”? We’re considering that question in light of a recent study conducted by Bizjournals.com that ranked the “100 hottest” job markets in the country using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Honolulu came in 41st, a sharp drop from its previous perch at number 18. Which brings us back to our original query: When you tumble 23 rungs on the ladder, aren’t you less “hot” and more “scalded”?
In these volatile (boy that adjective sure is getting a workout on the financial pages lately) economic times, even small growth is something to trumpet. Buoyed by a significant uptick in production, total coffee sales on Hawaii reached $31.9 million for the year, as reported in Pacific Business News. Though the average farm price for coffee dropped 5 cents statewide, production was up nearly 6 percent on Maui, Kauai and Oahu combined, which offset a 3 percent decline on the Big Island. You keep growing it, guys, and I’ll keep doing my part (sips heartily).
According to figures from the state labor department, Hawaii’s unemployment rate hit 4.2 percent last month, up from 3.9 percent in July and 2.7 percent in August 2007. The numbers, while certainly not encouraging, are softened by a couple of factors. The state created 2,300 new jobs compared with a year ago, a promising figure even if it didn’t keep up with the growing workforce. And Hawaii’s jobless rate is still well below the national average, which ballooned to 6.1 percent.
We’ve been following the saga of Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO Rex Johnson, who got into trouble for forwarding some naughty messages on the company e-mail. It looked like the matter was settled a couple weeks ago when the HTA board slapped Johnson with a pay cut and reduced the length of his contract. Not so fast. The Honolulu Advertiser got its hands on the e-mails in question and ran a story. At least one of the messages used racial and sexist slurs to refer to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. (It should be noted Johnson didn’t write any of the messages, he just received them and sent them along to his buddies.) Now lots of important folks including Gov. Lingle are calling for Johnson’s head. (Wow, that was a totally unintentional dirty joke—but if you’re reading this online on the company computer, don’t forward it just to be safe.) In light of all this brouhaha, the HTA board is set to re-consider Rex’s employment status on September 29. Who’s taking bets? MTW