No surprise here given President Biden’s self-proclamation as the most labor-friendly President in history, but the annual Economic Report by the Presidents Council of Economic Advisors calls for increased minimum wages and higher unionization rates as ways to boost U.S. economic growth. Its latest report, released last week, also calls for measures to curb the “disproportionate market power of companies and employers that limits economic equality.” Let that sink in for a minute. . . Hawaiian hourly employees will likely soon be saying Aloha to higher wages with the state senate recently amending and then approving a House bill to raise the state minimum wage to $18 per hour. The Senate Ways and Means Committee amended the original House bill by accelerating the phases required to get the minimum to $18/hour. Currently, the state has a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour. Under the Senate bill as amended, the minimum wage will jump to $12/hour on the first of October, then to $15 an hour on January 1, 2024 and ultimately jumping to $18 per hour in 2026. The House version offered a more gradual schedule with the minimum going to $11 this year and increasing $1 per year to $18/hour in 2030. Although the bill has been strongly opposed by the Hawaii Restaurant Association, we would expect the House to go along with the Senate changes and Governor David Ige to add his signature.