Executive Summary

Developing Hawaii’s creative industries  has become an important economic development strategy. Hawaii’s cultural diversity, its Hawaiian host culture are brand differentiators, attracting millions of visitors to our destination, while supporting a thriving creative industries cluster.  The uniqueness of Hawaii’s creative, artistic and cultural sectors helps Hawaii’s creative products compete in worldwide markets, while also supporting visitor spending  and developing the foundation of Hawaii’s creative economy. In addition, the creative industries and their workforce represent key sources of ideas, content creation for global export and provide the talent for Hawaii’s emerging technology and knowledge based industry sectors.

In order to capture and track data on the range of activities that can address the broader relationship between creative industries and emerging markets for technology and entertainment, the Research and Economic Analysis Division teamed with the DBEDT Creative Industries Division to review more current definitions of creative industries and revise the scope of the activities in Hawaii’s creative sector, based in larger part on similar work in Massachusetts.  This update has resulted in additional industries being added to the creative sector portfolio, such as advertising and marketing, design services, architecture, and engineering/research and development.  Hawaii’s creative sectors now show the increased overlaps in elements of the technology sector, providing foundational data to further define Hawaii’s innovation industries.

Industry Groups in the Creative Sector

The table below provides an overview of the 13 industry groups in the updated creative sector, and their 2014 job count, based on the current definition of the sector. In total, the creative industries accounted for about 49,403 jobs in Hawaii for 2014. This was up 11.1% from 2004, and up 1.2% from 2008. The earnings average was $46,662. 

Performance of the Creative Industries Portfolio

The primary purpose of this report is to measure the performance of the industry groups within the creative industries portfolio. For each of the NAICS-measurable groups in the creative sector industry portfolio, a performance profile was constructed that was composed of three primary performance measures: job growth, change in competitive national industry share, and level of concentration (or specialization) in Hawaii’s economy. The first two measures help assess the strength and competitiveness of the activity, while the third identifies likely export industries in the portfolio.

High Performing Creative Industry Groups

Only two creative industry groups, cultural activities and music, registered as high performing base-growth industries for the 2004 to 2014 period. The industry groups in the emerging category were composed of business consulting and design services. This group also performed well in job creation.

Other Creative Industries' Performance

Four of the creative sector industry groups fell into the transitioning category for the 2004 to 2014 period. These ranged from the marketing, photography & related which increased 5.4% in jobs to arts education, which grew jobs by 41.8%. However, while these industry groups grew, it was not as vigorous as the same industries nationally. As a result, they lost some ground to the nation in terms of competitive industry share.