Honolulu wages trail the U.S. West
Pay in Honolulu is higher than the U.S. average, but lower than in San Francisco and Anchorage, Alaska
Occupational pay in Honolulu is 4 percent greater than the national average, but the city is still one of the lowest-paid metropolitan areas in the U.S. West, according to a report released yesterday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For professional occupations, the hourly pay in Hawaii is 6 percent above the national hourly rate of $29.40 paid to professional workers, but is well behind the $38.66 paid to San Francisco professionals, who earn 31 percent above the national average.
In Honolulu, the occupational groups with the highest wages are in installation, maintenance and repair; and service, which reported 7 percent higher pay than the rest of the United States.
Only one occupational group, production, reported lower-than-average pay in Honolulu.
Of the Pacific metropolitan areas measured by the survey, workers employed in occupations in San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Calif., earned the most money, at 17 percent higher than the national average.
Workers in Anchorage, Alaska, collected the next-highest wages, earning 11 percent above the national average.
Workers in Sacramento/Yolo, Calif., earned 10 percent above average, and those in Los Angeles/Riverside/Orange County collected a 7 percent premium. Workers in Seattle/ Tacoma/Bremerton, Wash., earned 5 percent more than the national average.
Only those Pacific workers in Richland/Kennewick/Pasco, Washington and those in Portland/Salem, Ore. -- who reportedly earn wages on par with the national average -- earned less than those in Honolulu.
One reason for the discrepancies is that metropolitan areas differ greatly in the types of occupations that are available to the local work force. One reason that average wages in San Francisco are so high is that the number of San Francisco workers who are employed as computer programmers is approximately 48 percent greater than the national average.
Price levels, climate and quality of life also play a factor in wages, the report said.
Further details and information about the annual report can be seen on the Internet at www.bls.gov/news.release/cspay.toc.htm.