JEDC: Juneau's population declines for first time in decade

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau Economic Development Council is poised to release a preview of its 2017 Economic Indicators report next week.

    We received a preview of the preview on Action Line Wednesday from Council Executive Director Brian Holst.  

    A big change  he says is that Juneau's population went down for the first time in ten years.  He says the town lost about 400 people.  "What the trouble is is that we also lost state jobs.  We've been losing state jobs for a few years now.  We lost another 260 state jobs.  The vibrancy of our private sector has  been that as we lose state jobs, people have been able to pick those up in the private sector.  This last year, private sector employment is flat."

    Holst says there are positives to point to including tourism which is at a record level this year and is projected to increase another five percent next year.  In addition, he says the seafood industry continues to be strong.

    Builders continue to build new housing.  "A silver lining is that our vacancy rate is up to the level we want it to be.  It's right at five percent and at five to six percent range is what you want for a healthy housing market.  

    The council is scheduled to present its economic indicators report for 2017 during the Juneau Chamber of Commerce meeting on September 28 and to the Downtown Improvement Group September 29.


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