Alaska Natural Resources Propel State Economy

Nov 1, 2015 | Fisheries, Mining, Oil & Gas

Susan Harrington

Alaska is a natural resources state, which includes oil and gas, mining, forestry, fisheries, and tourism industries providing jobs and revenue to the overall economy as well as to state, local, and federal governments. There are two great conferences this month, and the November issue of Alaska Business Monthly is packed with natural resources articles.

We’ve highlighted the mining industry in our annual special section, which begins on page 74 with a message from Alaska Miners Association Executive Director Deantha Crockett: “The Future of Mining in Alaska.” The organization’s Fall Convention and Trade Show “Mining Alaska: Prospect to Profit” is November 1-7 at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage and is not to be missed. I’ve included a few details from the Alaska Miners Association.

In 2014, the Mining Industry provided:

  • 4,400 direct mining jobs in Alaska
  • 8,700 total direct and indirect jobs attributed to Alaska mining industry
  • $620 million in total direct and indirect payroll
  • $144 million in payments to Alaska Native corporations
  • $119 million in state government revenue through rents, royalties, fees, and taxes
  • $20 million in local government revenue through property taxes and payments in lieu of taxes

Forestry is beginning to make a comeback:

  • 700 direct jobs supported (January-September)
  • 105 federal jobs supported last year
  • 153 million board feet harvested last year in Alaska

Fisheries are wild, sustainable, and globally important:

  • 63,000 direct seasonal and full-time jobs
  • 5.8 billion pounds of seafood was landed in Alaska in 2013
  • $1.9 billion in ex-vessel value; $3.3 billion in sales to export markets
  • $200 million in revenue for state and local governments
  • $1.4 billion sportfishing industry provides 16,000 jobs, $545 million in income, and $125 million in state and local taxes

Tourism supports thousands of businesses:

  • 39,000 direct and indirect jobs
  • ~2 million visitors per year
  • 86% travel in summer
  • 50% arrive by cruise ship, 46% by air
  • $1.8 billion spent during year ending September 2014

Something else not to be missed—free airline tickets! At press time, no one had claimed the Top 49ers awards luncheon door prizes, which include two roundtrip tickets on Ravn Alaska, among other prizes. The winning entry numbers were on the USB cards given out as swag at the luncheon; you need to plug in the drive, open the JPG file, and find the entry number. Go online to and see what you’ve won, then contact us to redeem. One more thing you’re not going to want to miss is the November issue of Alaska Business Monthly. We’ve put together another really great magazine. Enjoy!


This article first appeared in the November 2015 print edition of Alaska Business Monthly.

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This year the Alaska Railroad is celebrating 100 years of transportation people and cargo around Alaska. While the railroad is one of the states oldest transporters, it certainly isn’t the only one, and in this issue of Alaska Business we also check in on the Marine Highway, Span Alaska, and the White Pass & Yukon Route. For those interested in Southeast, our focus on that region provides updates on Kensington Mine, Tongass FCU, the troll fishery, and Juneau’s growing landfill.

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