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Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Honolulu Loses 1,400 Construction Jobs as Rail Work Begins
By Andrew Walden @ 1:47 PM :: 7067 Views :: Labor, Rail

by Andrew Walden

Is rail producing the promised upsurge in construction jobs? For months building trades unions and the management-labor Pacific Resources Partnership have been putting union members to work—as pro-rail protesters. But now that concrete is being poured and a casting facility for overhead spans is ready to be built, the jobs just aren’t there.

According to the Associated General Contractors of America, Hononlulu ranks 272nd in construction growth, losing 1,400 construction jobs over the past year.

During the 2011 Legislative session, the Abercrombie Administration won passage of a massive GE Tax increase which applied the full 4.5% GE Tax to payments made by general contractors to subcontractors. Opponents ridiculed the proposal as “taxing the tax” since it was clearly aimed at extracting bond money and federal funds spent on capital improvement projects and redirecting them to the State’s operating budget.

But the GE Tax hike applies to private sector work as well as public sector, so even as $5B plus is spent on rail and the Abercrombie administration touts Capital Improvement Projects as a way to stimulate the economy, the jobs just aren’t happening. The money really is flowing to the crony contractors, maybe labor needs to re-think its alliance with capital—and capitol.

Here are the numbers:



May, 2011

May, 2012

12-mon. % change

12-mon. gain/loss












Const, mining,






Honolulu, HI

Const, mining, logging








LINK: State List of Construction Employment by Metropolitan Area or Division, May 2011-May 2012


LINK: Honolulu Ranks 272nd of 314 Metro Areas


AGC News Release: Construction Employment Declines In 164 Out Of 337 Metro Areas Between May 2011 & 2012 As Congress Continues To Debate Long-Delayed Highway Bill


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