Hawaii Reporter recently ran a story identifying Hawaii as “the worst place to do business in the country” (“Hawaii Ranked Dead Last in New CNBC National Report for Business Friendliness“). The article cites a CNBC study using criteria developed in consultation with the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness.
But the latest email from Pacific Business News reports Honolulu is near the top among major cities in “economic vitality” (“Honolulu just outside top 10 in economic rankings“). Its rankings were based on a study by “On Numbers,” a PBN affiliate.
So does doing business in Hawaii suck badly, as Hawaii Reporter would have us believe? Or are we doing pretty much okay, as the PBN rankings suggest?
Are these just “made to order” numbers destined to support predetermined conclusions?
I haven’t spent much time with PBN’s numbers yet, but noted one thing–Honolulu’s average weekly earnings per worker was just $790.48, well below Seattle ($1,113.37), San Francisco ($1,095.03), and San Diego ($962.85). Take Honolulu’s cost of living into account and it’s clear that Hawaii workers enjoy a smaller share of the rewards of that “economic vitality.”