JUNEAU, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau Economic Development Council released its Economic Indicators report for 2015 Monday. It was released on its web site in the morning and discussed on Action Line.
Eva Boorstein is the council's lead researcher. She said 2015 was good, with total payroll, earnings from government and the private sector, up for the year:
"And the average wage was up in Juneau. We had an increase in private sector employment last year. That's because we had a good year in tourism, which is even better this summer, because we just passed the one million mark in tourists coming. Last year the gross business sales were up and in particular tourist related sales were up. I guess the one down economic indicator was state employment, but what we saw was that despite the fact that we had fewer people employed in state government, and that's because of mainly state and federal decrease, the total payroll was still up in state government, so we still had a good year with the revenue coming into the city."
Council Executive Director Brian Holst said of the 2015 report:
"Our economy continues to be remarkably resilient. Over the last few years we watched the federal, state, and local government make cuts. Those
loses of jobs have been more than compensated by the private sector continuing to do better. Just imagine a Juneau if we could get the government to stay stable. We could have a nice growing economy.
Holst replied to the question of what happens if government isn't stable in 2016:
"Though June 30th 2016 we have seen 400 jobs in Juneau lost in state government in the last two years." Holst says some of those are retirements and if those retirees stay in Juneau, the impact is negligible, but if they leave the area it really hurts us. He adds the demographics show the retirement age group, 60 and up, continues to grow in Juneau, so it's an indicator of folks sticking around after retirement.
The 2015 Economic Indicators report for Juneau is now available on the council's web site.