Hawaii Q2, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 44,739 employers, up 7.0% from 41,810
  • 653,182 employees, down 0.9% from 646,841
  • $992 average weekly wage, up 3.7% from $957
  • The average weekly wage is 9.4% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 92.9% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 2,929, which is an increase of 7.0%. The number of employees in Hawaii declined by 6,340, a decline of 0.9%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $35, an increase of 3.7%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 2,908 or 7.3%. Growth in private businesses in Hawaii grew faster than the national average of 2.9%. The number of employees in these businesses decreased since last years' Q1, declining by 6,545 or 1.2%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Hawaii was slower than the national average of 1.4%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $33 or 3.6%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Hawaii grew slower than the national average of 3.8%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Professional services with 11.0% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 3.8%. Retail trade (10.5%), which increased by 2.6% and Healthcare (9.6%), which increased by 5.5%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Arts and entertainment7110.6%
Transport and warehousing696.7%
Finance and insurance986.0%
Educational services455.9%
Healthcare2245.5%
Construction1885.0%
Accommodation and food services1944.8%
Waste services1224.5%
Information304.2%
Professional services1793.8%
Other services1493.7%
Agriculture and forestry153.1%
Manufacturing303.0%
Real estate and rental602.9%
Retail trade1192.6%
Wholesale trade482.3%
Company management-10-2.0%
Utilities-2-2.2%
Mining and oil extraction-1-8.3%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Accommodation and food services with 17.1% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 1.0% in the last year. Healthcare (11.0%), increased by 1.1% and Retail trade (10.8%), decreased by 1.1%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Mining and oil extraction229.9%
Arts and entertainment7215.5%
Finance and insurance5143.3%
Real estate and rental3692.9%
Wholesale trade3411.9%
Construction6691.8%
Transport and warehousing3851.3%
Healthcare7661.1%
Accommodation and food services1,1411.0%
Company management770.8%
Other services2150.8%
Agriculture and forestry-39-0.7%
Professional services-240-1.0%
Retail trade-793-1.1%
Manufacturing-310-2.2%
Utilities-85-2.3%
Educational services-634-4.4%
Information-1,417-14.7%
Waste services-9,407-19.3%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Utilities paying $2,140per week compared with the state average of $939. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $81 or 3.9%. Mining and oil extraction ($1,889), rose by $129 or 7.3% and Company management ($1,653) increased by $59 or 3.7% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Educational services$577.8%
Mining and oil extraction$1297.3%
Finance and insurance$906.3%
Wholesale trade$655.8%
Arts and entertainment$305.6%
Professional services$725.2%
Healthcare$454.4%
Accommodation and food services$274.1%
Utilities$813.9%
Waste services$273.9%
Company management$593.7%
Transport and warehousing$292.8%
Other services$182.6%
Construction$372.6%
Retail trade$162.5%
Real estate and rental$131.3%
Agriculture and forestry$70.9%
Manufacturing$-17-1.9%
Information$-205-14.1%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Hawaii. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 7.4% of the businesses in the state (with 3,331 employing 64,774 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 144 more businesses, an increase of 4.5% in the last year. Offices of physicians (2.8% of businesses) added 34 businesses, an increase of 2.8% and Computer systems design and related services (2.3% of businesses) added 25 businesses, an increase of 2.5% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Trusts estates and agency accounts33825.0%
Other support activities for road transport.20166.7%
General medical and surgical hospitals1386.7%
Wineries150.0%
Oil and gas pipeline construction450.0%
Other credit intermediation activities746.7%
Agents and managers for public figures240.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Restaurants and other eating places1444.5%
Residential building construction839.2%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers5511.1%
Social advocacy organizations4120.7%
Landscaping services368.7%
Offices of physicians342.8%
Janitorial services337.7%


Employees by Industry

Offices of physicians (2.8% of employees) added 34 employees, an increase of 2.8% and Computer systems design and related services (2.3% ofemployees) added 25 employees, an increase of 2.5% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Trusts estates and agency accounts32221.1%
Motor vehicle merchant wholesalers126163.1%
Convention and trade show organizers24497.0%
Rv parks and recreational camps2985.6%
All other ambulatory health care services14478.7%
Spectator sports1056.1%
Tile and terrazzo contractors17846.4%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Restaurants and other eating places7561.2%
Offices of physicians5126.4%
Hotels and motels except casino hotels4371.1%
Residential building construction4108.2%
General line grocery merchant wholesalers35021.4%
Golf courses and country clubs3068.9%
All other amusement and recreation industries30513.7%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Marine cargo handling, paying $2,639 compared with the state average of $939. Employees in the Marine cargo handling industry were paid $144 more per week, an increase of 5.8% in the last year. Computer and software merchant wholesalers ($2,627) and Portfolio management ($2,527) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Computer and software merchant wholesalers ($2,627 per week) were paid $215 less per week, a decline of 7.6% and Portfolio management ($2,527 per week) were paid $258 more per week, an increase of 11.4% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Other grocery product merchant wholesalers$1,053112.3%
Oil and gas pipeline construction$55142.9%
Sporting goods merchant wholesalers$33537.6%
Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers$59136.2%
Other building finishing contractors$28428.0%
Farm supplies merchant wholesalers$37827.6%
Business to business electronic markets$39627.2%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Other grocery product merchant wholesalers$1,053112.3%
Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers$59136.2%
Oil and gas pipeline construction$55142.9%
Business to business electronic markets$39627.2%
Farm supplies merchant wholesalers$37827.6%
Sporting goods merchant wholesalers$33537.6%
Other nondepository credit intermediation$32017.7%


Company Size

Hawaii Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Hawaii by far. 58.9% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 40,697 small businesses in the state represent 95.5% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.4%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Hawaii added 2,896 businesses in the last year, an increase of 7.3% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 2,862 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 7.6% as compared to the national average of 3.1%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. These mid-sized businesses added 35 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.9% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses declined 1 businesses in the last year, which is a decrease of 1.3% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Hawaii Employees by Business Size

Hawaii added -3,876 employees in the last year, an increase of -0.7% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 19,212 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 89.4% as compared to the national average of 4.2%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. Mid-sized businesses added 7,693 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 3.8% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses lost 30,781 employees in the last year, which is a decrease of 30.0% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Hawaii Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in Hawaii (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 0.7% more than the national average ($1,012 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Hawaii (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 40.1% workers below the national average ($1,365 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $109 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.2% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $108 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.8% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses lost $189 of weekly wages in the last year, which is a decrease of 8.0% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.

Top Industries for Business and Employment

The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of businesses:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Businesses
Industry# Businesses% Change
Restaurants and other eating places3,3314.5%
Offices of physicians1,2612.8%
Computer systems design and related services1,0252.5%
Residential building construction9829.2%
Other similar organizations9571.6%
Accounting and bookkeeping services7773.1%
Offices of lawyers6794.8%
Offices of dentists6694.4%
Management consulting services5682.3%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers55111.1%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of employees:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Employees
Industry# Employees% Change
Restaurants and other eating places64,7741.2%
Hotels and motels except casino hotels41,1911.1%
General medical and surgical hospitals14,077-2.2%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores11,228-1.1%
Department stores10,304-2.6%
Scheduled air transportation9,6532.7%
Management of companies and enterprises9,0080.8%
Offices of physicians8,5406.4%
Elementary and secondary schools7,184-7.1%
Security and armored car services6,6972.0%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by highest wages:

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Marine cargo handling$2,6395.8%
Computer and software merchant wholesalers$2,627-7.6%
Portfolio management$2,52711.4%
Securities brokerage$2,413-5.0%
Software publishers$2,36612.2%
Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers$2,22336.2%
Piece goods merchant wholesalers$2,1830.0%
Other nondepository credit intermediation$2,12317.7%
Other heavy construction$2,09914.1%
Medical equipment merchant wholesalers$2,0946.0%




Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.