Anyone who is looking to relocate just might want to seriously consider Honolulu, Hawaii. No, it isn’t the weather that is the next best thing to perfect 12 months out of the year, and it isn’t even the world famous golden beaches. What sets Honolulu apart from other U.S. cities is, amazingly, the economy! In comparison with other coastal cities on the mainland, Honolulu ranks number one in terms of economic stability.
At a time when unemployment is breaking records nationwide, Honolulu has a surprisingly low rate of unemployment. The national average at the moment is 9.1% while Honolulu is only at 5.7%. If you were to compare Honolulu’s rate with other major U.S. coastal cities you would see just how significant this really is. For example, San Diego which is another favorite tourist location is at 10.4%. Now you might not want to compare San Diego with Honolulu since everyone knows that California is bankrupt and among the worst economies in the country.
So then, let’s take a look at New York City that is doing surprisingly well comparatively speaking. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the area encompassing NYC, Northern New Jersey and Long Island is at 8.6% unemployment which also is lower than the national average but still not as low as Honolulu. Then there is Miami/ Fort Lauderdale/Pompano Beach with an unemployment rate of 11.8%, Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater at 11.1% and Seattle at 9.3%. Statistically, people are working in Honolulu whereas in other parts of the country they are still standing in the unemployment lines.
Realistic Look at the Cost of Living
While it is true that the cost of living is higher in Honolulu, it is no more so than anywhere else in Hawaii. As a matter of fact, according to the latest statistics, Honolulu is actually even with the rest of the state which is almost unheard of elsewhere in the country. Take for example Atlanta, Georgia. The cost of living there is 3% above the rest of the state and in cities like Chicago, Illinois where the cost of living is 12% above the state average. Honolulu’s cost of living index is indeed much higher than the national average, but their wages are also statistically much higher on average. For example, the median household income nationally is $54,595 but in Honolulu the median income is $63,608.
Food and gasoline are undoubtedly more expensive anywhere in Hawaii as much of it needs to be shipped in via air or sea. Having said that, yes, gasoline may be higher at the pumps but most homes rarely have the expense of climate control. It is a rare day that the temperature drops low enough to need heat and when the average temperature in July is in the 80’s, there is rarely a time when air conditioning becomes absolutely necessary. Even though Honolulu is the southernmost city in the United States, the climate is temperate and there is usually a nice onshore flow of air that keeps it comfortable. The average highs are between 80 and 89 all year long and the average lows range between 66 and 75.
Taking everything into consideration, the economy in Honolulu is one of the deciding factors for many people when looking to relocate to Hawaii. Even though some things are much more expensive, there is plenty of work for those in need of employment, families rarely need to worry about heating or cooling their homes and property can be expected to gain in value over time where other areas of the country find property devaluing by the day. And, at the end of the day, a nice cool dip in the Pacific is always just minutes away.