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Alaska’s total wages up 0.6 percent in first quarter 2017 from prior year


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JUNEAU, Alaska—Newly released data for the first quarter of 2017 show small increases in total wages in most sectors of Alaska’s economy. Wages increased by $25 million overall, or 0.6 percent, compared to the same period in 2016.

The wage growth is noteworthy because total wages had declined for the previous four quarters. Wages are not adjusted for inflation.

Private sector wages grew by 0.4 percent overall. Wages in oil and gas were down by 14.0 percent and construction wages fell 10.8 percent. Health care wage growth remains strong, up 11.4 percent, and wages in transportation and warehousing grew by 4.9 percent.

Federal government wages were up by 1.5 percent and wages for local government, which includes public schools and tribal government, grew 4.4 percent. State government wages fell by 3.5 percent.  

Wages increased in 22 of 29 boroughs and census areas. Wages in Anchorage increased by 0.4 percent, in Fairbanks by 3.3 percent, and in Juneau by 0.6 percent. Seafood processing drove wage increases in the Aleutians East (13.4 percent) and Lake and Peninsula (20.8 percent) boroughs. Bethel’s 9.5 percent wage increase was mainly due to growth in health care and local government.

While most areas’ wages grew moderately over the year, wages in the North Slope Borough fell by 9.8 percent, propelled by reduced employment in the oil and gas industry. Losses in mining and construction contributed to wage losses of 2.7 percent in the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area.

Research and Analysis Web site: http://laborstats.alaska.gov

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