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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Hawaii's all-important tourism sector is bouncing back, but the state's climb out of its pandemic-sized hole is moving more slowly.

Why it matters: Hawaii's tourist-dependent labor market suffered one of the worst blows in the country last year.

  • Its jobless rate peaked near the highest level of all states. It's since recovered some, but remains the highest in the nation.

Where it stands: Hawaii has the fewest job postings (0.7) per unemployed worker in the country, according to ZipRecruiter data cited by the Wall Street Journal. (For comparison, there are more than five open gigs per jobless person in Vermont.)

Background: Friday's employment report will be make or break for the state of the labor market recovery that stalled in April.

  • Economists estimate jobs made a notable lurch (700,000) toward pre-pandemic job levels in May. States like Hawaii have a much longer way to go to return to normal.

Hawaii has recouped among the smallest share of payrolls compared with pre-pandemic times. Only New Mexico has fared worse by that measure, according to ratings agency Fitch.

One bright spot: Total domestic air seats scheduled for Hawaii this month are up 14% more than June 2019, the state's department for business, economic development and tourism (DBEDT), said last week.

  • Yes, but: The job recovery is trailing behind the tourism rebound, according to the University of Hawaii.
  • "The available labor force has been reduced by outmigration, ongoing virus concerns, and the need to supervise children until schools reopen," researchers wrote last month — noting payrolls won't fully recover for several more years.

What they're saying: "We expect the full recovery of our tourism industry will be beyond 2024," DBEDT director Mike McCartney said in a release last week.

  • Blame the slow return of international visitors — who tend to spend more daily on average than U.S. ones, McCartney said.

Go deeper: Summer travel is forecast to be stressful

Go deeper

More than 7 million people lose unemployment benefits on Labor Day

A "now hiring" sign hanging in a store window in New York City in August 2021. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

More than 7 million unemployed people will lose their jobless benefits on Monday after federal programs expire, according to the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The expiration of benefits comes as the Delta variant continues to weigh on the U.S. economy.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, a group with ties to prominent Democrats that's been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin from the right.

3 hours ago - Technology

Race and technology in America

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The technology industry is famously determined to change the world — but its efforts to diversify its workforce and remove bias from its products haven't changed nearly enough.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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