Job Market on the Big Island (Hilo: to rent, how much, hotels)
Big IslandThe Island of Hawaii
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Hello, my family is moving to the Big Island in May, my husband will be attending UH-Hilo for Marine Science. I currently have an Associate Degree in Business Administration, and I am working on my Bachelor's in Marketing. I currently work for Hampton Inn, which is part of Hilton Hotels, so I am hoping I might be able to find work in one of the resorts. Any information on how the job market is, and how it would be for me, being from the mainland?
Thanks so much!
honestly the job market is worse than on the mainland. many places are laying off locals, even resorts are having to cut back as tourism is hurting as well. without the tourists to stay at the hotels and resorts it is more difficult for those industries to employ any new people when they are slimming down the number they already have.
I'd make sure you have a lot of money saved up to use as you will most likely not find a 'well paying' job as soon as you arrive. if you can i'd see if you could find something through your current employer to see if there are any hotels there you can transfer to, that way it would be easier or at least you'd have a better chance at finding a job. you usually need 'connections' to find a job now that the economy is terrible and showing no signs of improving in the near future.
sorry to be so grim but it's better to hear the truth from those that actually currently live here (on the big island) and have seen first hand
The hospitals have a hiring freeze, the grocery stores have a hiring freeze and there aren't any tourists so the hotels aren't busy. Restaurants are closing left and right so the folks that used to work at one are off trying to find work at the others.
The resorts are in the Kona district and they are several hours drive from Hilo. I don't think they are hiring much, either, there was one which reopened after the earthquake damage was repaired and they had hundreds of applicants for less than a hundred jobs, I believe the numbers were.
Some folks do commute, though, since the pay is better in Kona but to get the pay you either have a several hour bus ride each day or you get to drive and pay for gas. Awhile back I did the math and figured a job in Hilo at about $4 less per hour would be the same as the higher wage job in Kona if you factored in the time and money spent commuting.
Is there any sort of job you can bring with you? Any sort of food you can grow and produce? Food will sell and there are lots of Farmer's Markets to sell it at.
Well, we do have enough money saved to live without a job for a little while. I would love to grow food and sell it at a Farmer's Market, is there really enough profit to make it worth it? I was hoping to find a place where we could grow food for us, but it wouldn't be a lot to just grow more. We have a pretty good sized garden where we live now.
We were looking to live north of Hilo, so I will probably be looking for something there. Although, if I can stay with Hilton Hotels and work at one of the resorts there, that would be fine as well. I used to run my own house cleaning business here, but I don't know how much demand there is for that around Hilo. My husband actually does computer repair, so we are going to see how much need there is for that service as well. I do have a couple of places I can network for positions, so hopefully that will help too!
Thanks so much for the honest answers, I appreciate them very much!
hilo has good farmer's market which i personally love to go to whenever i can. amazing produce and i usually get some flowers to take to family.
honestly selling any extra food you are able to grow most likely wont be enough to sustain yourselves. locals who do this usually have family working other jobs or they at least are already set up with farmland and housing etc. and dont have certain things to worry about that you might have starting out. also id look into how much it would cost to do that as a side thing to get some extra money.
hamakua side (wet side) that runs from waipio valley down to just north of hilo is going to be cheaper than kona/kohala side but not necessarily as cheap as say puna or ka'u. you probably could find something affordable around hilo to rent. not too sure about any demand for housecleaning as most do it themselves or cant afford that expense with teh terrible economy. not to mention people who would usually do that live in the expensive homes on kohala and kona side.
id first try to guarantee you can have a job in writing over there before going, then dont move everything over at first just in case you find island living isnt for you. some people learn the hard way; it is VERY different visiting vs living. next maybe rent a place first in the area you are thinking about then you can look around for a house or whatever you want to purchase. im sure you know this but never purchase a house or land etc. without actually visiting it first. sorry if it seems harsh but i know plenty of people who have done things the wrong way and learned the hard way. just think smart about it all, know living in paradise isnt easy, we do have problems. you aren't going to find things cheap as we are an island so must import things. the culture is like no where else on the planet, locals will not adjust to your mainland ways, rather you must be willing to adjust to hawaii adn be respectful (the whole treat those how you would like to be treated).
if you can stay with hilton try that, though your job would be in kona as that is where the hilton is located and living in hilo and having to commute is possible but will take a long time to drive as you will have traffic etc. sometimes not worth it, might be better off getting a job closer to where you'll actually be living. anyways good luck and if you have anymore questions please feel free to ask =)
Yes, I agree, I think commuting from Hilo area to Kona every day would just be too much. With the price of gas and the cost of my time, it would be best for me to find something closer, probably in Hilo. We aren't moving for the "novelty" but my husband will be attending school in Hilo, so we are going if I have a job lined up or not. I feel good that money isn't an issue, at least it won't be for a while.
I would never expect anyone there to adjust to any mainland ways, I am actually looking forward to adjusting to the life there. We are by nature a pretty relaxed and laid back family, and I will like being around others with the same ideals. I am ready for things to be more expensive, but I am looking forward to living a simpler lifestyle.
If worse does come to worse, we will have the money for a return ticket. We are selling most of what we have, but we will be keeping some things we may want should we return. I feel living life without a little adventure isn't really living at all.
that is good to hear, i dont know too many people who would want to commute from hilo to kona as it would be a nightmare. luckily hilo is also a good place to find work, though right now not too sure as the economy is terrible. it depends what you decide to go into. there are hotels but many aren't hiring with the decline in tourism so you might have to branch out into a different field. as soon as you get there i would start sending out your info and try to make contacts as it will be difficult to find anything. many locals are having a difficult time either keeping their current jobs, finding a new one or both. it's tough times for all so that is good you have some money saved up, though it will be gone before you know it as food etc. is going to be more expensive than on the mainland. good luck with your new adventure =)
Thanks so much! I would never have agreed to move without having a lot of money saved, so I really happy we will have that to fall back on for a little while. I have a lot of different experience, and the Associate Degree, so hopefully I will find something! I am not looking for my perfect job, just something to make money, so that should help. I also do have a couple of sources that could lead to a job, so I am keeping my fingers crossed!
Thanks again for the input everyone gave, I am excited to live there! (although the plane ride I could do without...)
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