Big Island businesses experience drawbacks trying to fill staff during robust economy

Kona Inn server Sue Shaw has worked at the restaurant for more than 30 years.

A help wanted sign is posted Friday at Hilo Hatties in the Kona Inn Shopping Village. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

Hilo Hattie employee Fe Bacawag rings up a customer Friday at the Kona Inn Shopping Village store. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

Kona Inn bartender Destiny Flores pours a beer on Friday. (Photos by Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — Hawaii has not only its tropical beauty to boast about, but also the nation’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.1 percent.