In terms of efforts to whittle away at the island’s double-digit unemployment rate in the wake of Hurricane ‘Iniki in 1992, it has been a long eight years for Mayor Maryanne Kusaka.
Now, in her final full month in office, kindly allow her to bask in the lowest unemployment rate the county has experienced in a decade.
The 1,400 jobless Kauaians last month, and the 4.8 percent unemployment rate that came with it, were both the lowest figures in at least five years, and probably in the last 10 years.
Last month, there were 27,450 Kauaians employed from a total civilian workforce of 28,850, and the statistics captured Kusaka’s attention.
“At the beginning of 1994, unemployment was hovering between 15 and 16.4 percent,” she said.
” I am delighted that at the end of our term we have fulfilled our commitment to put so many of Kaua’i’s people back to work.”
Kusaka surmised that the boost to Kaua’i’s economy came primarily from four areas: construction, real estate sales, tourism and new industries.
“Over my second term, the construction industry has been busy, not only in the private sector but also with government projects,” she continued.
“I am very pleased that many county contracts have been awarded to local construction companies, which has in turn helped keep our residents employed,” she continued.
“As for the other areas, my administration has worked tirelessly to be ambassadors for Kaua’i and spread our message of aloha around the world.
“By the end of this year, we could match our pre-‘Iniki visitor count. We also explored new economic sectors and strongly supported up-and-coming industries like aquaculture and diversified agriculture,” Kusaka said.
“Kaua’i’s businesses must be recognized for their perseverance, and for having faith in the working public. I wish them well and hope that this healthy economic trend continues,” she said.
“Kaua’i’s economic future truly looks bright.”