When state dollars are stretched to their breaking point, policymakers need solid data in order to wisely allocate scarce resources. A new brief from the Center on the Family, COVID-19 and Job Loss, examines characteristics of the Hawaiʻi workforce in the most affected industries, and highlights solutions, such as using CARES Act funding expeditiously, updating tax measures, and diversifying the economy.
COF‘s Hua Zan, Ivette Rodriguez Stern, Noreen Kohl and Kathleen Gauci found that the most impacted workers were those already struggling to make ends meet prior to the COVID-19 crisis, earning very-low or low wages; Filipinos are overrepresented among the lowest-wage industries (i.e., retail trade and leisure and hospitality); and young adults under 35 make up more than 4 in 10 workers in the industries most impacted.
“The brief describes the vulnerable workers in Hawaiʻi,” says Hua. “Understanding this workforce is critical to identify short- and long-term solutions to support them economically during the pandemic and years to come.”
Read the UH News article. Read the full brief.