HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The average hourly wage in urban Honolulu was $23.71 an hour last year, about 50 cents more than the national average, according to a new federal analysis.
Meanwhile, the review from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the average wage for seven occupations in Honolulu was significantly lower than the rest of the nation.
The analysis puts a new spotlight on wages in the islands, which have long trailed the nation despite Hawaii's high cost of living.
Richard Holden, BLS assistant commissioner for regional operations, noted that in a news release that urban Honolulu wages were higher than national averages in just half of 22 major occupational groups included in the analysis.
Among the occupations where Honolulu residents earned more than their mainland counterparts:
- Construction, whose average hourly wage was $30.42, compared to $22.88 nationally.
- Health care practitioner and support, with an average hourly wage of $44.22, compared to $37.40 for the nation.
- And office and administrative support, with an average hourly wage of $18.32, less than $1 more than the national average.
The biggest occupation group in urban Honolulu was administrative support, which employs about 15 percent of workers.
Food preparation and serving-related jobs were the second-biggest source of employment, and their average wage was $13.01 an hour, compared to $10.98 nationally.
The seven occupations with significantly lower wages included management, computer and mathematical, architecture and engineering, legal, and sales.
Those working in legal, for example, earned $38.29 an hour on average in urban Honolulu, compared to $49.74 nationally. Those in management in Honolulu earned $46.38 on average, compared to $55.30.
The BLS did note that there is a wide diversity of wages in occupations.
For example, the 52,270 food preparation and serving-related jobs in urban Honolulu ranged from fast food workers (average wage: $10.79 an hour) to chefs and head cooks (average wage: $19.02 an hour).