The Filipino Community in Hawaii: A Look at the Most Common Jobs

The Filipino community has been a part of the history of Hawaii since the early 1900s, when an estimated 125,000 Filipinos were recruited from the Philippine regions of Ilocos and Visayas to work in the state. The majority of these Filipino workers were men, and upon their arrival, stereotypes emerged. These ethnic groups were segregated so that Filipinos would not be influenced by striking Japanese workers and so that they could be used as leverage against them. The vast majority of Hawaii's Filipino community, at least 85 percent, are Ilokanos from northern Luzon, whose native language is Ilokano.

The estimates also show which jobs in Hawaii were the most popular. The main occupation was working in agriculture, mainly on fruit and vegetable farms along the West Coast and on sugar cane plantations in Hawaii. In addition, some Filipinos came to the United States for education. The 1965 immigration law, on the one hand, and Philippine policies that encouraged labor emigration, on the other, helped to further increase the levels of migration from the Philippines to the United States.

Today, most Filipinos in the United States who obtain lawful permanent residence (LPR status) do so through family reunification channels. As the sugar industry in Hawaii was the main source of income for the working class, there was a great demand for these jobs. Furthermore, some Filipinos who came to study and gain professional experience in the health field remained in the United States after completing their training. This has resulted in Filipinos becoming the fastest-growing ethnic minority in Hawaii due to continued immigration from the Philippines and high birth rates in the Filipino community. In conclusion, it is clear that Filipinos have become a very dynamic community and a fundamental part of the past, present and future of Hawaii. The main occupations held by Filipinos in Hawaii are working in agriculture on sugar cane plantations and fruit and vegetable farms along with obtaining education and professional experience in health fields.