Hawaii businesses struggle to find workers
Posted: July 9, 2017 - 4:00am

HONOLULU (AP) — State officials say the unemployment rate in Hawaii is the lowest it has been in 10 years.
Businesses statewide are having a tough time finding workers, as the state's minimum wage isn't enough to draw employees, said State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Linda Chu Takayama.
Hawaii's minimum wage is currently $9.25, though it will increase to $10.10 in January.
Chu Takayama said businesses that pay minimum wage are having the most difficult time finding employees, KHON-TV reported.
Grace's Inn in Honolulu announced last week it would be closing its doors because it can't find enough workers.
L&L Hawaiian Barbecue in Honolulu said it is dealing with its own staffing issues.
"I would say about 30 percent of applicants don't even show up for their first interview," said Bryan Andaya, vice president and chief operating officer for L&L Hawaiian Barbecue. "A lot of them don't even show up for their very first day. I would say 20 percent of those that are hired don't even show up for their shift."
Andaya said people are looking for more than just a paycheck.
"They want to make a difference," he said. "They want a job to have some meaning and significance to them other than just a paycheck. It's very, very difficult for restaurants, especially quick-service restaurants like ours, to offer that."
Chu Takayama said employers need to start getting more creative in order to generate greater interest and a larger, more dependable workforce.
"I would say to them, they have to be prepared to be a little more creative," Chu Takayama said. "It is a competitive market. They might have to offer a little bit more in order to get the good employees."

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