Alaska's recession examined in Alaska Economic Trends article

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The State of Alaska is still mired in its longest recession ever, but its not everywhere in the state.

    Job loss is the key factor used to define a  recession, but some areas actually continue to add jobs.  That's according to an article in the June edition of Alaska Economic Trends.  

    The author, Anchorage based  Economist Neal Fried, is with the Research and Analysis Unit of the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

    He said most of the areas that remain relatively unscathed by the recession lack direct ties to oil activity or large concentrations of state government employment.  Areas that have added jobs since 2015 have large fishing or visitor industries, or both.

    Areas hardest hit include the North Slope Borough, Anchorage, Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula.

    Although Kodiak and Sitka lost jobs, Fried said those losses were tied to volatility in local fisheries rather than oil or  state government.

    Juneau has lost 350 jobs due to a reduction in state government.  The Haines Borough also lost jobs.

    Skagway, Ketchikan, and the Hoonah -  Angoon  Census areas gained jobs thanks to tourism activity.  Places like Bristol Bay and Hoonah have benefited from fishing activity.

    Fried was asked when the recession will end.  He said about 10,000 jobs have been lost between 2015 and 2018.  A couple more thousand have been lost this year.  "It's possible we will quit losing jobs some time this year.  We have seen a moderation in the job losses, but that's still very hard to tell when that will come to an end.   

    Unit Chief Dan Robinson is now predicting that job losses and thus the recession will end in October.


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