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JOUR 300/JOUR 481: Business & Economy

This guide was created for the courses JOUR 300: Reporting and JOUR 481: Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Journalism

Business Registration

The Secretary of State in each state usually handles business registrations. In Hawai`i, businesses registration is handled by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Let's look at the record for Town Restaurant.

Economic Census

The Census Bureau conducts the Economic Census every five years in years ending in 2 and 7. The most recent data available is from the 2017 Economic Census.

Businesses are classified according to the North American Industrial Classification Schedule (NAICS). NAICS is not sufficiently granular to encompass every type of business. So, for example, if you wanted to know how many `ukulele shops there are in Honolulu, you would find them aggregated with stores selling other types of musical instruments. The Economic Census also does not reveal details about individual businesses; remember, privacy rules dictate that information is presented in aggregate form only.

County Business Patterns provides a snapshot of industries and businesses at the county level. Data elements are derived from the Census Bureau's Business Register, a database of business establishments.

Employment and Cost of Living

Employment and unemployment data and inflation and consumer prices are available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS also provides information on wages and benefits and other labor-related components of the economy.

The Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations also maintains statistics on employment and unemployment, workers with disabilities, and civil rights complaints.


Publicly traded corporations are required to file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These filings are available in the EDGAR database. Look at the filings for Alexander & Baldwin Holdings, Inc.


EDGAR search screen

Agricultural Statistics

The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducts the Census of Agriculture every five years. 2017 is the most recent year for which data is available. The next census of agriculture will be conducted in 2022.

Most states issue statistics about crops and livestock that are important in the state. For example, the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture issues reports about specialty crops such as cacao, taro, and coffee.