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More Hawaii workers employed in retail, food and beverage than other industries

  • DENNIS ODA / AUG. 25

    A state report released today found the highest number of jobs in Hawaii are in the retail sector, followed by food and beverage service and construction.

The highest number of jobs in Hawaii are in the retail sector, followed by food and beverage service and construction, according to a state report released today.

The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s “Top 20 Occupations in Hawaii” found that retail sales workers topped the list at 42,445 in 2016, which accounted for 5.9 percent of Hawaii’s civilian workforce. Food and beverage serving workers came in second at 40,775, or 5.7 percent of Hawaii’s civilian workforce. Construction trade workers ranked third, with 34,137, or 4.8 percent of the state’s civilian workforce.

“This report is an important tool to understand Hawaii’s current job market, as we continue to look for ways to diversify job opportunities for our local residents,” DBEDT director Luis P. Salaveria said in a news release.

Among the top 20 fastest growing occupations over a 15-year period between 2001 and 2016 were health care related jobs in nursing, psychiatric services and home health aids, according to DBEDT, which said this reflected demand for services from Hawaii’s growing elderly population.

By percentage growth, the fastest growing occupations between 2001 and 2016 were in the health care and construction industries. Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aid workers increased 71.4 percent between 2001 and 2016; construction trade workers increased 53.2 percent; and occupational therapy and physical therapist assistants increased 50.9 percent during the same period.

DBEDT’s report also found the following:

>> In 2017, the highest paying occupation in Hawaii was in the category of health diagnosing and treating practitioners with median hourly earnings of $46.11 followed by top executives at $45.31 and lawyers, judges, and related workers at $42.06.

>> Asians were the largest racial group in all the categories of the top 20 occupations except for top executives, where whites had the largest proportion.

>> Male-dominated occupations included construction trades with 98.5 percent of male workers; other installation, maintenance and repair workers (95.7 percent); and motor vehicle operators (87.9 percent). Female-dominated occupations were in the categories of secretaries and administrative assistants (92.8 percent); Financial clerks (84.4 percent); and other office and administrative support (77.7 percent).

>> The largest share of millennials worked in food service related occupations, with 61.9 percent in the category of food and beverage serving workers and 54.7 percent in other food preparation and serving related workers.

>> In 2016, there were 29,438 Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations in Hawaii, representing 4.1 percent of total employment. Civil engineers topped the list of STEM occupation with 2,227 jobs, accounting for 0.31 percent of total civilian jobs. Among the top 20 STEM occupations, electrical engineers were the fastest-growing, with an annual growth rate of 2.25 percent over the period of 2001-2016, followed by biological technicians at 2 percent.

>> Three-fourths of STEM occupations were male workers, though the ratio was 50-50 among non-STEM occupations. The ratio of workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher in STEM jobs was more than double the ratio in non-STEM jobs.

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