Impact of pandemic on seafood processing explored in Alaska Economic Trends

    State Labor Economist Karinne Wiebold (left) along with Dan Robinson, chief of Research and Analysis Unit in State Labor Depasrtment

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - An article in the November edition of Alaska Economic Trends published by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development examined how the seafood processing industry weathered the 2020 fishing season and the pandemic's impact.

    Economist Karinne Wiebold in the department's Research and Analysis Unit explained on Action Line that demand for seafood products changed with less going to restaurants and more to homes as people stayed home.

    Wiebold cited a study done by Intrafish Media which revealed that processors spent an estimated $50 Million to combat the spread of COVID-19.  She said those efforts paid off.  Wiebold wrote that  92 percent of all COVID 19 cases were among residents.   The other eight percent among non-residents was split with about half of those coming from the seafood industry and the balance coming from mining, tourism, and unknown sources.

    Wiebold said it appears industry employment did not contract as much as they feared.  The number of jobs is down about 2,000 from the peak season in July and August which accounts for a decline of about 15 percent.  Total employment during the peak months is about 24,000.



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