The word Honolulu means "place of shelter" in Hawaiian, and the lovely city lives up to its name. With a metro area population of roughly 986,000, Honolulu is Hawaii's largest city, as well as its capital, and a major center of tourism, business, and defense. It is also a cultural and educational hub, with a large number of botanical gardens, museums, galleries, and performing arts venues. The University of Hawaii at Manoa and Hawaii Pacific University are located in Honolulu; UH Manoa houses the administrative offices of the University of Hawaii system.
Those relocating for jobs in Honolulu, HI, should be prepared for a rather high cost of living. With a median home price of $659,000 and a median household income of $73,725, Forbes estimates the cost of living at 49.6 percent above the national average. The national median home price is just $181,400.
Honolulu Job Opportunities
While most jobs in Honolulu relate to its massive $10 billion tourism industry, there are many Honolulu jobs in healthcare as well. Honolulu jobs in military and defense are also in demand.
Altres Medical is the largest source of Honolulu, HI jobs. Other major employers in the city include Kapiolani Medical Center, Queen's Medical Center, and Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. The federal government is the source of many more jobs; Hickham Air Force Base and the Naval Air Station employ a large number of military and civilian personnel. Banking and finance round out the city's major employment sectors, with Bank of Hawaii one of the largest sources of jobs. Hawaiian Airlines and Island Air are both based in Honolulu.
Some Honolulu residents find rewarding jobs in Kaneohe, a city just a few miles north.
Honolulu Employment Trends
The unemployment rate in Honolulu was 4.2 percent as of July 2014, compared to a national rate of 6.3 percent. Job growth in 2013 was 1.6 percent, which is expected to increase to 1.7 percent in 2014. Forbes rates Honolulu as the 97th best place for business and careers and 66th in job growth. The city came in at number 198 for cost of doing business, likely due to a massive 4.5 percent increase in commercial rents, making Honolulu the second-highest rental market in the country.
Industry sectors that should continue to grow over the coming decade include healthcare, defense, tourism, education, banking and manufacturing. Honolulu is also a major business and trading hub between the East and the West.