Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Friday, June 22, 2001

State unemployment rate remains at 4.3% in May

The statewide unemployment rate for May was unchanged from a year ago, at 4.3 percent, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. It was the third month in a row in which Hawaii's jobless rate was higher than the U.S. average, which was 4.1 percent last month.

The number of jobs increased slightly year over year, to 572,350 last month from 568,200 in May 2000. The number out of work decreased slightly, to 25,650 from 25,750.

Oahu's unemployment rate dipped to 3.7 percent, from 3.8 percent in the year-earlier month. The Big Island jobless level last month was 7.2 percent, compared to 7.1 percent in the previous May. Kauai's rate climbed to 6.8 percent, from 6 percent. Molokai was at 14.8 percent, compared to 14.9 percent a year earlier, and Lanai's 2.6 percent rate was a small climb from 2.3 percent.

'Aloha Friday' moves to 'The Big Apple'

The Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau will bring "Aloha Friday" to New York City next week, showing off Hawaii arts and culture the day before a big outrigger canoe race in New York Harbor. The celebration from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern time next Friday at Manhattan's South Street Seaport will start with a traditional Hawaiian blessing and include hula, music and activities such as lei making.

Hawaii filmmaker Edgy Lee's documentary "Waikiki: In the Wake of Dreams" will be shown in a 500-seat outdoor theater. Prize giveaways worth $15,000 will include a trip for two to the Big Island, with a five-night stay at the Outrigger Waikoloa Beach Hotel.

The next day, Hawaii male and female canoe paddlers will compete with some 70 teams from around the world in the fifth annual Liberty World Challenge, a 14-mile race that runs past the Statue of Liberty.

Hospitality consulting firms in Hawaii team up

Two of Hawaii's best-known hospitality industry consulting firms have decided to work together in what they call an "alliance" to provide a broader range of services to clients. Joseph Toy, president of Hospitality Advisors LLC, and Hersh Singer, president of SMS Research & Marketing Services, said the two firms will work together to provide information in the Hawaii and international hospitality and visitor industries.

Hospitality Advisors provides services for planning, acquisitions and financial analysis. It publishes the monthly report used by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism to mark hotel occupancy. SMS does visitor research for the department as well as consulting work on the visitor industry for private-sector clients.

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