State Labor forecast predicts job growth in Alaska this year

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - It appears Alaska will add jobs for the first time in a long time during 2019

    The Research and Analysis Unit in the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development prepared the job forecast for 2019 that is featured in the January edition of Alaska Economic Trends.

    The author, Economist Karinne Wiebold,  was a guest on Action Line.  She said they are expecting the jobs numbers to increase by about 14-hundred which is a zero point 4 percent increase.

    She attributes the projected increase to two growth drivers.  The biggest one she said is the deployment of the F35 aircraft to Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska's Interior.  

    The other growth driver is tourism which is on track for an estimated sixteen percent this year.

    Wiebold also prepared the article detailing the job forecast for Southeast Alaska.  Growth is also forecast for the region, but only about 50 jobs, or a zero point one percent increase.  Even though its only a small increase, Wiebold points out that it is a departure from the last six years when the region experienced falling or flat employment.  

    Job growth is expected in the tourism, mining, construction, and health care sectors while declines are anticipated in state government and fishing.

    Unit Chief Dan Robinson joined Wiebold on the program and talked the latest figures on the loss of jobs in Alaska.  He said the state was at minus zero point four percent in November.  November is the 38th consecutive month Alaska has lost jobs, the longest period in the state's modern  history.

    Robinson now predicts a job gain will be realized in May.


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