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Off the News

For Wednesday, June 1, 2011


High prices, low wages cast pall on paradise

Federal statistics indicate that wages in Honolulu are above the national average, but they don't indicate how that compares with the cost of living here. The Wall Street Journal went to the Council for Community and Economic Research to match wages and prices in 77 metro areas, and those Honolulu incomes turn out to be abysmal.

The Journal reported that workers in Honolulu make only 5 percent more than the national mean wage but are saddled with prices nearly 68 percent above the national cost of living.

"Maybe that's just the price you pay for 70-degree winters," it figured.


Fill 'er up and let's go watch the planes take off

Honolulu drivers can take some hope from the news that, on Oahu at least, the average price for a gallon of gas has finally dipped below $4.

The down side? People may have to stay put. The cost of leaving on a jet plane is probably not going to budge for a while, according to the Air Transport Association. That group reports that demand for travel is rising, and airlines want to recoup their losses from a disastrous first quarter.

Well, anyway, those who can afford airfare will get a small bonus upon arrival. Gas prices on the mainland, by and large, have dropped even lower than ours. National average for a gallon: $3.79.

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