Low unemployment affecting businesses and job seekers


It seems just about everywhere you look, businesses are looking for help.

With Hawaii’s unemployment rate so low, finding workers can be hard to come by, but the struggle isn’t just felt by employers.

Just this weekend, there were three job fairs in Honolulu. We spoke with some job seekers who told KHON2 the need for full-time workers sometimes works against them.

The state Department of Labor said Hawaii’s unemployment rate is at 2.7% for the fourth month in row.

Companies like Ward Village, Macy’s, and even the state Departments of Health and Human Services recently hosted job fairs.

Target is the latest company seeking help for its Ala Moana location. We’re told they’ve had hundreds of applications.

“Any time, any position, any availability, we are still hiring for anything so you want to work overnight, you want to work during the day, come see us,” store manager Zach Orell said.

The wide variety of employers to choose from is good news for job seekers but Target told KHON2 there’s been a trend among many of its applicants.

“I think they’re really just open to whatever position we have. You know, one concern for people is their limited availability, if they have another job,” Orell said.

Some applicants I spoke with told KHON2 they’ve been searching for a second job for some time.

“Living here in Hawaii, a lot of things are expensive so in order to provide for myself and for other people, I have to get a second job,” Chrisyana Martinez said.

“Full-time student, part-time worker so finding extra cash for rent and everything has been difficult,” Jaclyn Ritter said.

Despite the number of jobs out there, applicants told us landing a second position has been tough because many employers want someone who’s full-time.

“A applied for a job, got all the way to the end and they didn’t hire me because my availability wasn’t there, enough availability,” Martinez said.

“I applied for another job a couple months ago and didn’t get the job because of my schedule and how it just didn’t align with what they were looking for,” Ritter said.

Although full-time is in demand, both Martinez and Ritter were hired on the spot Sunday afternoon.

“I think the community is really excited that we’re willing to work around their schedule,” Orell said.

Target’s hiring fair continues Monday and it’s looking for help in many areas for the new location.

If you’re interested in applying you can do so online or in person at the Ala Moana Hotel from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

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