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Hawaii Business BOSS Survey 2011

400 Business Leaders Gauge Hawaii’s Economy

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Download the Full Result of BOSS SURVEY: June Survey

Past editions

Highlights and Lowlights

Tough Times Persist: The news remains bleak on three key measures: jobs, revenue and profit. In each case, more companies surveyed suffered declines during the past year than enjoyed increases.

Optimism Steady: The outlook for the coming year remains relatively sunny:  34 percent of those surveyed predict the overall economy will improve in the coming year, while 24 percent foresee a decline.

Oil prices: 31 percent of Hawaii companies say rising oil prices have already hurt their companies a lot.

Construction: In general, companies in the construction industry are doing much worse than the average Hawaii company. Nonetheless, the leaders in the construction industry share the same level of optimism for Hawaii’s economy as the average Hawaii business leader.


About the Survey

BOSS – the Business Outlook and Sentiment Survey – is a survey of 400 business leaders on all major islands. It is done twice a year for Hawaii Business by QMark Research, a division of the Anthology Marketing Group
Four hundred random interviews were conducted by telephone from April 12 to April 20. In each case, QMark spoke with the company’s owner, CEO or other senior executive.

The companies were stratified based on number of employees:

Very small: Businesses with 3 to 9 employees;
Small: 10 to 49;
Medium: 50 to 99;
Large: 100 or more.

A targeted sample of 100 businesses in each size sector was the goal. Here’s where the respondents were based:

Oahu: 69 percent
Maui: 19 percent
Big Island: 7 percent
Kauai: 5 percent

In this edition of BOSS, 111 businesses in the construction industry were surveyed. Eighty-one were part of the original sample, with another 30 surveyed to meet a targeted quota.

The overall data was weighted to reflect the proportion that each company size represents in the Hawaii workforce, as reported by the state Department of Labor.  A sample of this size (n=400) has a margin of error of +/- 4.90 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

Thank you to the Business Banking Council for agreeing to our use of historic data from past surveys.



But, overall, Hawaii’s companies are better off than at any time since 2008.

Highlight: The Performance Index – based on changes in jobs, gross revenue and profit – is at its highest level since the second quarter of 2008.


Click images to enlarge

Lowlight: Only 16 percent of the businesses polled added jobs over the last year.

Highlight: Large companies were most likely to have added jobs in the past year.


Lowlight: 43 percent of the companies surveyed reported lower gross revenue.

Highlight & Lowight:
• More than half of large companies increased revenue
• Almost half of small & very small firms lost revenue

Lowlight: 41 percent reported a decline in profit.

Highlight: 40 percent of large companies enjoyed higher profit.



Boss Optimism Index

Highlight: 34 percent of the businesses polled believe the Hawaii economy will improve in the coming year.

Predictions by the pessimists

Those business leaders who predicted the Hawaii economy will worsen in the coming year were offered three scenarios of the future and asked to choose the one that best mirrored their personal view.


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