Since the start of the most recent recession, driven by the decline in oil prices and consequent contraction of government and private sector spending, the state has lost upwards of 13,000 jobs. But these losses have not been felt equally. ISER’s Mouhcine Guettabi uses employment data between June 2015 and June 2018, to show how each of Alaska’s 19 boroughs and 10 census areas have fared in this recent report. It is important to note that 15 of the 29 borough/census areas experienced employment growth between 2016 and 2018, highlighting that local economic bases and varying levels of exposure to oil industry and state government spending matter a great deal in determining their welfare.
–Between June 2015 and June 2016, 19 boroughs/census areas experienced negative growth and 10 experienced positive. The North Slope Borough given its dependence on oil jobs experienced the most significant employment decline, 14.3%. Haines experienced the most pronounced growth at 13.73%. The average growth rate across the state was -1.93%.
–Between June 2016 and June 2017, 15 boroughs/census areas experienced negative growth and 14 experienced positive. Yakutat Borough experienced the most significant decline at 12.81%. Bristol Bay experienced a 38.16% increase in employment. The average growth rate across the state was -0.051%.
–Between June 2017 and June 2018, similar to the previous year, 15 of the 29 boroughs/census areas experienced negative growth. Aleutians East experienced the most severe decline at 17.8% with Kusilvak losing 11.8% of its jobs. Lake and Peninsula Borough and Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area each experienced double digit growth rates. The average growth rate across the state was -0.098%, marginally lower than the previous year, but still an improvement over 2015-2016.
— Six boroughs experienced negative growth in each of the three years. Those boroughs are: Aleutians East, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kodiak, North Slope, and the Northwest Arctic Borough.
–Two boroughs, Haines and Matanuska-Susitna, experienced positive growth in each of the three years.
The report also provides an analysis of the last two years of the recession, showing areas that have fared well and those which continue to experience difficulties.
This report is generously funded by a grant from Northrim Bank.