Economic Insecurity and Minimum Wage

Despite promising signs, Oahu’s economy continues to struggle. Struggling with lowered pay and lost hours was a common throughout our talk stories. Key in our conversations was the discussion of the long term viability of Waikiki (especially as the unsolved homeless crisis degrades our brand as an international dream destination), as well as the feeling that the cycles of boom and bust in the real estate market are an unstable basis for lasting job growth. Hopes lie on large public works projects like the rail or a redevelopment of the stadium, that they would provide temporary relief, but there were real questions about the future of these projects. Finally, there was a sense that the pay scale in Hawaii is not keeping pace with the cost of living, and that the increasing pattern of off island ownership is sucking jobs and capital out of our state.