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.
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Alaska’s Giving Pipeline
Few large foundations support “the general good” or social service projects in Alaska, so the Last Frontier has a pretty thin philanthropic layer, according to United Way of Anchorage Vice President Cassandra Stalzer. However, the oil and gas industry has a history of stepping in and filling the gaps in Alaska communities by providing money and volunteers for myriad charitable efforts in the state.