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Hawaii’s economy is on the rebound, but experts say the job market is lagging behind

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Despite booming visitor arrivals, a key segment of Hawaii’s economy continues to show weakness: The job market.

Since the pandemic started, Hawaii has lost 94,000 jobs, said Carl Bonham, executive director of the U.H. Economic Research Organization.

Most of those job losses were in the hotel, food services and transportation industries, he said.

“So there’s a long ways to go on the job recovery. The job recovery is under-performing,” he said.

But now that visitor arrivals and hotel occupancy are back to pre-pandemic levels, many hotel workers are questioning why they haven’t been called back.

“It’s kind of scary, you know. We’re still waiting. It’s been almost two years and year and a half,” said Breanna Gouveia, who was laid off in April 2020.

During a briefing of the state House Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness, state Rep. Richard Onishi said: “We’re hearing that there are former…

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