Federal Government In Hawaii

The federal government has a significant presence in Hawaii, in part because of its relative size to a small state like Hawaii but especially because of Hawaii’s military history and strategic presence for the United States. In 2010, the federal government employed 34,800 people, including 18,500 people working for the Department of Defense. That's about 6 percent of the state's total workforce.

The numbers of Defense Department employees and overall federal workers in Hawaii has steadily increased since at least 2006, according to state labor data.

The federal government spent the most money per capita of any state in the nation on salaries and wages of workers in Hawaii in 2010. That $7.9 billion on salaries was part of a more than $20 billion in federal money that flowed into the state last year, making Hawaii the fifth-highest recipient of federal spending per capita in the U.S.

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