It’s Tough To Figure Out Just How Hard The Pandemic Has Hit The Hawaii Economy … Personal income in Hawaii actually increased overall during the pandemic, but experts say people are going to be worse off this year as federal bailout money dries up.

Economists and community leaders are working to gather data to show what the pandemic has meant for some of Hawaii’s most vulnerable people, including those in poverty and working families who were living paycheck to paycheck before the pandemic.

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The task – which is key to enabling policymakers to target state money toward the most critical problems — is complicated because much of the data analysts typically use for such analyses is lagging and thus out of date.

Compounding the already thorny problem this year is that billions of dollars in federal aid poured into Hawaii during the pandemic creating an aberration in the data. That means the data is not only old but also distorted.

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