BY DUKE AIONA – Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September was 6.3 percent, down from 6.4 percent in August. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.6 percent in September. There were 2,700 more Hawaii residents employed in September compared to last year.

From day one, the next Governor of Hawaii will have to tackle the critical issues facing our working families and small businesses, and nothing is more critical right now than creating job opportunities.

It is especially encouraging to see about 1,400 more jobs last month in the construction industry. To facilitate immediate private sector job creation, Lynn Finnegan and I will expedite $946 million of capital investment projects and use the small business preference and set-aside to expend over $200 million on local procurement.

It is critical that Hawaii focus on cultivating a business-friendly environment that creates real job opportunities in the private sector.

Nothing in our opponents’ plan would immediately create private sector jobs, and he has yet to say whether he will cut programs, raise taxes or fail to deliver on his promises.

Our opponents’ plan to grow the size and scope of government comes straight out of the Washington politics playbook, but we can’t, and shouldn’t, print money or deficit-spend in Hawai‘i. Our opponent’s over-reliance on dwindling federal deficit-financed funds is bad policy, and it would increase the cost of living for the people of Hawaii.

Duke Aiona is the lieutenant governor and a candidate for governor in 2010

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