In December Trends, we look at 10 possible reasons unemployment insurance claims are at historic lows, which may seem counterintuitive while the state is in a recession, and at how the unemployment insurance program performed in 2016.
U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Rep. Don Young, all R-Alaska, today released the following statements after the Senate passed H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which includes Murkowski’s title opening a small portion of the non-wilderness 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for responsible energy development.
Alaska’s total employment was down by an estimated 1.3 percent in September compared to September 2016, a loss of about 4,600 jobs. Over-the-year job losses have gradually gotten smaller in 2017, however. The largest losses during the current downturn were in the fall of 2017 at -2.6 percent.
Governor Bill Walker today signed legislation to help increase economic and resource development opportunities in the Petersburg Borough. When it was formed in 2013, the Petersburg Borough received a significantly smaller land grant entitlement from the state than other organized boroughs; Senate Bill 28 rectifies this situation, increasing the land entitlement for Petersburg by 12,770 acres.
Governor Bill Walker late yesterday issued a declaration of disaster for the North Slope Borough following a strong Arctic sea storm in September. The declaration makes available $1 million from the state’s Disaster Relief Fund, and will allow the community to begin addressing the full scope of damage from the Sept. 28-30 storm.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF), in cooperation with the Alaska Division of the Federal Highway Administration, is proposing to rehabilitate the Tok Cutoff between mile posts 38 and 50. Improvements will include drainage, embankment stabilization and rebuilding pavement structure. The project also includes railing upgrades and deck repairs to the Indian River Bridge #651.
The City of Anchorage joined Governor Walker in recognizing the importance of reminding citizens to become avalanche aware by issuing a resolution declaring November Avalanche Awareness Month and supporting public awareness for snow safety.
The Coast Guard concluded its annual Arctic Shield operations Monday with the closure of its Forward Operating Location in Kotzebue and the departure of the Cutter Healy from the Arctic.
Alaska businesses will see an average degrease of 5.4 percent for 2018 workers’ compensation insurance assigned risk rates. Workers’ compensation voluntary insurance loss costs will decrease by 7.9 percent.
In the final days of the President Clinton administration, the United States Department of Agriculture adopted one of the most far reaching land management rules of all time when it placed 58 million acres of National Forest into a protected classification that prohibits timber harvest, road construction, and indirectly nearly all development. This single action removed two percent of the entire United States land mass from the pool of lands that can be economically developed nationwide. The State today appealed the district’s court unfavorable decision upholding the rule to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.