‘A massive tidal wave is going to hit Hawaii businesses next year’

Keli’i Akina explains on “The Mike Buck Show” why a slated tripling of the state unemployment insurance tax will only worsen Hawaii’s unemployment situation


“Just when you thought we’re sort of getting back to some system of normalcy — not the case!”

That was how Hawaii radio host Mike Buck opened his 23-minute interview with Keli’i Akina of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, Monday, Nov. 16, 2020. Heard mornings on KHNR AM690 & FM94.3 The Answer, Buck talked with Akina about how Hawaii businesses are going to see their state unemployment insurance tax more than triple in 2021, and why that will be bad for both businesses and employees — — unless something is done to prevent it.

The legally mandated automatic increase is based on the condition of the unemployment trust fund, which right now is $664 million in the red. At a time when they can least afford it, Hawaii businesses will have to pay thousands of dollars more to stay in business, if they decide to stay in business at all. Similarly, the increase will discourage new hiring and encourage employee downsizing, exacerbating the state’s historic unemployment rate.

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