Hawaii construction in fourth straight boom year

Construction in Hawaii is on a roll, according to a recent report by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. 2003 marks the fourth consecutive year of growth in Hawaii’s construction sector, with more to come in 2004, according to authors Paul Brewbaker, chief economist of the Bank of Hawaii, and Carl Bonham, executive director of the research organization. After growing more than 13 percent during 2002, the organization expects construction spending growth to slow slightly to 7 percent in 2003 followed by a surge to over 17 percent the next year. In the last four years, construction jobs in Hawaii have increased from 22,000 to more than 27,000. Growing construction-labor demand means more people will move to Hawaii and there will be an increase in the recruitment of nonconstruction workers with comparable skills. The report attributes the growth to government contract awards, along with an upswing of residential construction on neighbor islands and more mainland investments.