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Jobless in Paradise Hawaiis economy has changed drastically since statehood In 1958 defense sugar and pineapple were the primary economic activities accounting for 40 of Gross State Product GSP In contrast visitor-related expenditures stood at just over 4 of Hawaiis GSP prior to statehood Today the positions are reversed sugar and pineapple constitute about 1 of GSP defense accounts for just under 11 while visitor-related spending comes close to 24 of Hawaiis GSP Channel The movement toward a service- and trade-based economy becomes even more apparent when considering the distribution of Hawaiis jobs across sectors The share of the economys jobs accounted for by manufacturing and agriculture has declined steadily since 1959 and each currently makes up less than 4 of total jobs in the economy At the same time the shares of jobs in wholesale and retail trade and in services have risen standing at about 23 and 28 respectively Channel Since 1991 Hawaiis economy has suffered from rising rates of unemployment This stands in marked contrast to the period 1980 to 1993 when the state enjoyed very low unemployment rates relative to the nation as a whole But by 1994 the recession had raised Hawaiis unemployment rate to the national average 61 for the first time in 15 years In 1995 the states unemployment rate improved slightly in the first eleven months of the year to 54 percent a 06 percentage point decline from the first eleven months of 1994 Despite the lower unemployment rate the total number of wage and salary jobs declined by 06 percent during the first eleven months of 1995 This was due in part to a fall in part-time jobs that are often held by persons who also have primary jobs elsewhere in the economy The number of construction jobs declined by more than 7 percent in the same period Other industries--namely manufacturing agriculture transportation communicationsutilities and finance insurance and real estate experienced declines in the number of
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