Total Wages Up 4.0 Percent in the First Half of 2019 from Prior Year
JUNEAU—Newly released data for the first half of 2019 show total wages up $355 million from the first half of 2018, with increases in all of Alaska’s major industries and sectors. The 4.0 percent wage growth exceeded inflation, which was 2.6 percent over the period.
Private sector wages grew 4.8 percent overall. Construction wages increased 11.9 percent while oil and gas increased 7.0 percent. Health care wages grew 5.5 percent.
Government wages were also up across the board. Federal wages increased by 1.3 percent, state government wages by 2.0 percent and local government (including public schools and tribal government) by 2.4 percent.
Total wages increased in 23 of the 29 boroughs and census areas. Wages grew by 3.3 percent in Anchorage, 3.2 percent in Fairbanks and 0.5 percent in Juneau. Recovery in the oil and gas industry boosted North Slope Borough wages by a whopping 11.6 percent.
Wages in Haines increased the most at 14.5 percent, driven by increased construction work. Mat-Su’s wage growth was second at 9.6 percent, followed by Nome at 9.3 percent and Yakutat at 9.5 percent.
In This Issue
The Marx Bros. Café
Jack Amon and Richard “Van” Hale opened the doors of the Marx Bros. Café on October 18, 1979; however, the two had already been partners in cuisine for some time, having created the Wednesday Night Gourmet Wine Tasting Society and Volleyball Team Which Now Meets on Sunday, a weekly evening of food and wine. It was actually the end of the weekly event that spurred the name of the restaurant: hours after its final service, Amon and Hale were hauling equipment and furnishings out of their old location and to their now-iconic building on Third Street, all while managing arguments about equipment ownership, a visit from the police, and quite a bit of wine. “If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘A Night at the Opera” starring the Marx Brothers, that’s what it was like,” Hale explains.