As Hawaiʻi’s overall economic outlook for 2024 continues to look pretty questionable, the local construction industry outlook remains strong, according to a quarterly statistical and economic report by the Hawaiʻi State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism released today.
Hawaiʻi saw growth in new construction jobs, experiencing a 2.4 percent increase in the first 10 months of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022. The third quarter alone saw the number of construction jobs increase by 1.1 percent, or 400 jobs, compared to the same period one year ago.
Contracts and permitting data also reveal other areas of positive growth. The total value of building permits issued in 2023 increased by 4.2 percent over the same period last year. Additions and alterations saw an increase of permit value of 25.3 percent and commercial and industrial permits increased by 9.5 percent.
Residential permits, however, decreased in value by 12.6 percent.
Government contracts awarded in the first three quarters of 2023 totaled $4.3 billion, which is consistent with the same period in the previous year. Both periods set records for the highest value of government contracts awarded since at least 1960, with the largest award in 2023 being the Navy’s $2.8k billion Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard improvement project.
According to the DBEDT press release, Hawaiʻi’s declining population remains a concern for the economy, as does a persistent labor shortage. Growth of Hawaiʻi’s labor force slowed during the first half of 2023, then began to decrease in the third quarter.
DBEDT will release its report for the first quarter of 2024 on March 1.