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Alaskanomics's Blog: August 2013 Employment Report

Posted: 03 Oct 2013 05:11 PM PDT

The Anchorage Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) recently published the August 2013 Employment Report for Anchorage. The August employment numbers show a bit of a slowing from the forecast presented earlier in the year, but Anchorage and the state are both ahead of the National average when it comes to employment.  For the past 23 years, the August unemployment numbers have averaged 0.3 percent lower than the annual rate at the end of the year, so August is typically a good indicator of where the numbers will be at year-end.

An encouraging piece from the report shows that the private sector has grown by more than 1,950 jobs, or 1.6 percent. The industries with the largest year to date growth are mainly in the goods producing category, including oil and gas, manufacturing and construction. The oil and gas sector has seen an 11.8 percent increase in jobs over last year. Three positive factors are, Eni expanding its operations at their Nikaitchuq unit, Cook Inlet Energy’s announcement of $20 million in new financing, and increasing interest in LNG exploration to the Far East.

In the Municipality, the largest decrease in jobs was seen in the government sector, Federal and Local government both saw decreases over 4 percent YTD from 2012. Statewide, Federal Government jobs are down almost 9 percent, from where they were in August 2012. The private sector has offset the loss of government jobs in Anchorage and Alaska as a whole, but the average employment in Anchorage has not grown at the same speed as it was forecast to do.

The final four months of the year will show whether there will be an increase of 1-1.5 percent as forecast by AEDC. Low unemployment and the high cost of housing continues to make it difficult to find and keep strong employees. Anchorage’s unemployment continues to go down, but the labor force is shrinking, which affects the overall unemployment numbers. To read the full report, please visit, www.aedcweb.com

 

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