Hawaii Q1, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 44,547 employers, up 7.0% from 41,635
  • 655,964 employees, down 0.1% from 655,461
  • $1,006 average weekly wage, up 3.4% from $973
  • The average weekly wage is 15.0% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 90.1% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 2,912, which is an increase of 7.0%. The number of employees in Hawaii declined by 503, a decline of 0.1%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $33, an increase of 3.4%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 2,896 or 7.3%. Growth in private businesses in Hawaii grew faster than the national average of 3.0%. The number of employees in these businesses decreased since last years' Q1, declining by 1,292 or 0.2%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Hawaii was slower than the national average of 1.7%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $32 or 3.4%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Hawaii grew faster than the national average of 3.0%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Professional services with 11.1% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 5.7%. Retail trade (10.5%), which increased by 3.3% and Accommodation and food services (9.5%), which increased by 5.1%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Waste services1,14843.4%
Information659.6%
Educational services669.0%
Arts and entertainment416.2%
Transport and warehousing646.2%
Professional services2645.7%
Accommodation and food services2065.1%
Healthcare1934.8%
Construction1453.9%
Wholesale trade753.7%
Retail trade1503.3%
Agriculture and forestry153.1%
Finance and insurance493.0%
Other services1122.8%
Real estate and rental402.0%
Manufacturing151.5%
Utilities-1-1.1%
Company management-15-3.0%
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 16.8% of the employees in the state, had a decrease in employees of -0.3% in the last year. Healthcare (10.9%), increased by 0.5% and Retail trade (10.8%), decreased by 0.6%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Company management5185.8%
Information2633.1%
Construction3321.0%
Transport and warehousing2931.0%
Healthcare3620.5%
Wholesale trade480.2%
Real estate and rental110.1%
Finance and insurance-30.0%
Accommodation and food services-345-0.3%
Retail trade-427-0.6%
Other services-181-0.7%
Professional services-191-0.8%
Waste services-441-0.9%
Arts and entertainment-215-1.6%
Educational services-310-2.1%
Utilities-100-2.7%
Agriculture and forestry-216-3.8%
Manufacturing-766-5.3%
Mining and oil extraction-16-7.1%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $2,092per week compared with the state average of $964. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $55 or 2.7%. Utilities ($2,059), rose by $23 or 1.1% and Mining and oil extraction ($1,935) increased by $199 or 11.5% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Mining and oil extraction$19911.5%
Information$1078.5%
Wholesale trade$595.2%
Waste services$355.1%
Healthcare$535.0%
Educational services$364.8%
Arts and entertainment$193.6%
Professional services$443.3%
Other services$213.0%
Company management$552.7%
Accommodation and food services$172.5%
Real estate and rental$272.4%
Construction$332.3%
Retail trade$121.9%
Finance and insurance$291.8%
Manufacturing$101.1%
Utilities$231.1%
Transport and warehousing$10.1%
Agriculture and forestry$00.0%


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 7.5% of the businesses in the state (with 3,333 employing 63,669 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 154 more businesses, an increase of 4.8% in the last year. Offices of physicians (2.8% of businesses) added 12 businesses, an increase of 1.0% and Professional employer organizations (2.5% of businesses) added 1,011 businesses, an increase of 894.7% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Professional employer organizations1,011894.7%
Trusts estates and agency accounts22440.0%
Other support activities for road transport.21210.0%
General medical and surgical hospitals1280.0%
Oil and gas pipeline construction450.0%
Other credit intermediation activities746.7%
Mobile food services3346.5%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Professional employer organizations1,011894.7%
Restaurants and other eating places1544.8%
Residential building construction606.8%
Engineering services4511.0%
Janitorial services409.6%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers397.9%
Computer systems design and related services373.7%


Employees by Industry

Offices of physicians (2.8% of employees) added 12 employees, an increase of 1.0% and Professional employer organizations (2.5% ofemployees) added 1,011 employees, an increase of 894.7% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Trusts estates and agency accounts29188.6%
Motor vehicle merchant wholesalers122154.0%
All other ambulatory health care services14175.5%
Motion picture and video production52843.4%
Ophthalmic goods merchant wholesalers3041.1%
Translation and interpretation services1940.4%
Electronic instrument manufacturing4035.7%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Motion picture and video production52843.4%
Management of companies and enterprises5185.8%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores3913.6%
Scheduled air transportation3644.0%
Residential building construction2745.7%
Professional employer organizations2131.6%
Cosmetic and beauty supply stores20422.2%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

Offices of physicians ($3) and Professional employer organizations ($3) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Offices of physicians ($3 per week) were paid $12 more per week, an increase of 1.0% and Professional employer organizations ($3 per week) were paid $1,011 more per week, an increase of 894.7% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Lessors of nonfinancial intangible assets$75160.6%
Agents and managers for public figures$15646.2%
Financial transaction processing and clearing$39737.6%
Transport. goods merchant wholesalers$31132.2%
Plastics materials merchant wholesalers$28831.6%
Offices of mental health practitioners$16224.5%
Software publishers$44724.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Miscellaneous intermediation$76220.6%
Lessors of nonfinancial intangible assets$75160.6%
Software publishers$44724.0%
Financial transaction processing and clearing$39737.6%
Transport. goods merchant wholesalers$31132.2%
Plastics materials merchant wholesalers$28831.6%
Computer and software merchant wholesalers$27010.5%


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 92.9%. (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%.



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.