Why is Hawaii One of the Slowest Growing States?

Why is Hawaii One of the Slowest Growing States?

If you love the tropical climate but don’t want to forgo having mountains, Hawaii is the place for you.  It is a beautiful place – the life of luxury is definitely possible on any of the state’s islands – big or small.  But would you want to move to Hawaii right now?  Should you?

Experts might suggest you wait before relocating to Hawaii, which happens to be one of the slowest growing states in the U.S.  It’s state GDP is currently at $59 billion and its rate of growth last year, according to Newsweek magazine, was only 1.2%.  While that certainly isn’t the worst in the country, there’s a lot of room to move.

Because tourism is one of Hawaii’s biggest moneymakers – it comprises the majority of the state’s economy – Hawaii took a hit over the last couple of years.  With the U.S.’ economic crisis, not as many people were taking vacations.  The same can be said about travelers worldwide, as well.

There is good news, however.  In 2010, tourism started picking up again, which means that Hawaii will likely move up on the list of growth rates.  But, it might not be by much.  Another big hit the state took was in the real estate sector.  Not as many people are buying houses in Hawaii – or land.  That means few people are moving or even vacationing there.

With plummeting real estate markets, the construction industry also took a hit.  Quite a few people lost their jobs, just as in many of the states on the main land.

Among all this negative news, there is a glimmer of hope in Hawaii, which may actually encourage some people to move there.  The unemployment rate is at one of the lowest we’ve seen across the country – 6.1% in April 2011.

Jon Huser