REPORT: Top 20 Jobs Employing the Most Workers in Hawai‘i

September 27, 2018, 11:21 AM HST (Updated September 27, 2018, 11:21 AM)
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The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) released a report revealing the top 20 occupations in Hawai‘i.

Retail Sales Workers topped the list at 42,445 workers in 2016, which accounted for 5.9% of Hawai‘i’s civilian workforce; followed by Food and Beverage Serving Workers at 40,775, which accounted for 5.7% of Hawai‘i’s civilian workforce. Construction Trade Workers ranked third place 34,137, which accounted for 4.8% of Hawaii’s civilian workforce.

“This report is an important tool to understand Hawai‘i’s current job market, as we continue to look for ways to diversify job opportunities for our local residents,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria.

When looking at the growth rates, Nursing, Psychiatric and Home Health Aides grew the most at 71.4% between 2001 and 2016. This reflects the growth of our elderly population and the increase in demand for home healthcare.

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In 2001, about 13.4% of our population was 65 years of age or above, that percentage increased to 17.2% in 2016.

Among the top 20 fastest growing occupations between 2001 and 2016, seven of them were healthcare-related such as Nursing, Psychiatric, Home Health Aids, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapist Assistants, Other Personal Care and Service Workers, Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners, Health Technologists and Technicians, Other Healthcare Support Occupations, Other Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations.

“Among the top 20 occupations between U.S. and Hawai‘i, only two occupations were different. In the U.S., Computer Occupations and Health Technologists and Technicians were among the top 20, while in Hawai‘i, Top Executives and Other Food Preparation and Serving-Related Workers were among the top 20,” noted Chief State Economist Dr. Eugene Tian.

“The number of Construction Trade Workers in Hawai‘i had the second largest growth between 2001 and 2016, because construction in Hawai‘i was at a downturn in 2001. Nevertheless, Construction Trade Workers made up the third largest occupation group for Hawai‘i and the fourth largest for the nation.”

The following are a few of the findings in the report:

In terms of number of jobs, Retail Sale Workers ranked as the largest occupation in Hawai‘i with 42,445 workers in 2016; followed by Food and Beverage Serving Workers at 40,775; and Construction Trade Workers at 34,137.

By percentage growth, the fastest growing occupations between 2001 and 2016 are those in healthcare and construction industries. Nursing, Psychiatric, and Home Health Aid Workers increased 71.4% between 2001 and 2016; Construction Trade Workers increased 53.2%; and Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapist Assistants increased 50.9% during the same period.

By number of workers, Construction Trade Workers increased the most by 11,860, between 2001 and 2016; followed by Food and Beverage Serving Workers with an additional 7,446; and Cooks and Food Preparation Workers at 4,990 additional.

The highest paying occupation in Hawai‘i in 2017 was 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.

Among the top 20 occupations, Asians were the largest racial group in all the categories except Top Executives, where White had the largest proportion.

Male-dominated occupations included Construction Trades with 98.5% of male workers; Other Installation, Maintenance and Repair Workers (95.7%); and Motor Vehicle Operators (87.9%). On the contrary, Secretaries and Administrative Assistants had 92.8% of female workers; followed by Financial Clerks (84.4%); and Other Office and Administrative Support (77.7%).

Food service-related occupations, including Food and Beverage Serving Workers and Other Food Preparation and Serving-Related Workers, had the largest share of Millennials at 61.9% and 54.7%, respectively. Generation X accounted for more than 40% of total workers in Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners (40.1%); Preschool, Primary, Secondary and Special Education School Teachers (40%); and Business Operations Specialists (39.9%). Top Executives and Building Cleaning and Pest Control Workers comprised more senior workers, those born before 1965, at 49.1% and 44.7%, respectively.

Among the top 20 occupation groups, majority of the Food and Beverage Serving Workers (98.9%); Retail Sales Workers (94.1%); and Cooks and Food Preparation Workers (93.7%) worked in private sectors. 71.2% of the Preschool, Primary, Secondary and Special Education Teachers were government employees.

Compared with other top 20 occupations, Top Executives were the most likely to work full-time, with 93.4%; followed by Other Installation, Maintenance and Repair Workers at 91.2%; 62% of Other Food Preparation and Serving-Related Workers, for instance, Dishwashers and Dining Room Attendants, were part-time workers.

Among the top 20 occupations, 69.6% of Material Moving Workers and 66.8% of Building Cleaning and Pest Control Workers had a high school diploma or below. On the contrary, 87.7% of Preschool, Primary, Secondary and Special Education Teachers and 82.7% of Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners had bachelor’s degree or higher.

In 2016, there were 29,438 STEM occupations in Hawai‘i, representing 4.1% of total employment.

Civil Engineers topped the list of STEM occupation with 2,227 jobs in 2016, accounting for 0.31% of total civilian jobs. Nine Computer-Related Occupations appeared in the top 20, made up nearly 31.5% of STEM employment.

Among the top 20 STEM occupations, Electrical Engineers were the fastest-growing occupations, with an annual growth rate of 2.25% over the period of 2001 to 2016, followed by Biological Technicians at 2%.

Three fourth of STEM occupations were male workers, though the ratio was 50-50 among the non-STEM occupations.

STEM job holders tend to be younger, with 73.6% born after 1964, compared with 68.7% in non-STEM jobs. Generation X made up 38.2% of STEM jobs, 4.8% higher than in non-STEM jobs.

Not surprisingly, majority of STEM jobs had a bachelor degree or above. The ratio of bachelor degree or higher degree holders in STEM jobs was more than double the ratio in non-STEM jobs. Only 6.6% of STEM jobs had high school diploma or below, compared with one third of non-STEM jobs.

The full report is available to download.

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