Isle government
jobs on the rise

The number of such positions rose
1.8 percent, census figures show

The number of state and local government jobs in Hawaii increased at a rate slightly higher than the national average between March 2001 and March 2002, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released yesterday.

The annual report on public employment shows the number of full-time equivalent positions in Hawaii state and county government increased nearly 1.8 percent to 70,461 with an annual payroll of $222.7 million from 69,230 jobs in 2001 and a payroll of $207.8 million.

Nationally, the number of state and local government jobs increased to a total of 15.6 million, an increase of 1.6 percent over last year. The total payroll is $52.3 billion, according to data collected from the 2002 Census of State and Local Government Employment and Payroll.


"The growth in (state and local) government in Hawaii and in the nation has been modest, and part of that is due to the challenging fiscal condition that most states are in," said Pearl Imada Iboshi, chief state economist for the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.

In Hawaii the largest group of government-paid employees is in public education, with 34,460 workers. Within the education category, instructors for public elementary and secondary schools increased 4 percent to 20,830 from 20,030 in 2001.

The number of higher-education instructors also increased about 4 percent to 2,538 from 2,442.

"In point of fact, that's not a very big increase," said John Radcliffe, associate executive director of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, the union representing higher education.

Radcliffe said that the number of instructors in the 10-campus University of Hawaii system typically fluctuates between about 2,950 and 3,400.

"We are higher in the last few years simply because our student population has grown a little," he said.

Hawaii police, who for years have had a tough time recruiting and retaining officers, saw an increase of 13 staff and police for a total of 3,644 staff statewide.

Nationally, the census found that most employees worked in education, 8.2 million, and hospitals, 917,000, followed by police protection at 887,000.


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