Image via labor.alaska.gov

Image via labor.alaska.gov

Uncertainty clouds future of state’s economy; modest job growth expected

That’s according to the January edition of “Alaska Economic Trends”

Alaska is experiencing some economic recovery since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but uncertainty still hangs over the future of the state’s economy. That’s according to the January edition of “Alaska Economic Trends,” which is published by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

In all, the department reported that Alaska recovered more than 7,000 jobs in 2021 after losing more than 27,000 in 2020, but is expected to recover an additional 9,800 jobs in 2022. Still, the only industries expected to “fully recover” to their pre-COVID levels in 2022 are construction, health care and federal employment.

Among the causes of the economic recovery experienced in 2021 were the return of some cruise ships and tourists, the return of students to in-person learning and the influx of federal funding. The temporary waiving of the Passenger Vessel Services Act by Congress allowed more than 100,000 cruise ship passengers to visit Alaska in 2021 while independent tourism to the state was “strong.”

Looking ahead, however, the report acknowledged unknowns that could hinder Alaska’s long-term growth, including steady population loss, the state’s fiscal woes and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which already came on the heels of a statewide recession.

The report comes as the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District prepares to hold its annual Industry Outlook Forum. This year’s forum will be held at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center on Thursday, Jan. 6 from 8:15 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. Those interested in attending are advised to RSVP at kpedd.org.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

A studded tire is attached to a very cool car in the parking lot of the Peninsula Clarion in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, April 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Studded tire removal deadline extended

A 15-day extension was issued via emergency order for communities above the 60 degrees latitude line

A sign for Peninsula Community Health Services stands outside their facility in Soldotna, Alaska, on Monday, April 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
PCHS to pursue Nikiski expansion, moves to meet other community needs

PCHS is a private, nonprofit organization that provides access to health care to anyone in the community

Jordan Chilson votes in favor of an ordinance he sponsored seeking equitable access to baby changing tables during a meeting of the Soldotna City Council in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna OKs ordinance seeking to increase access to baby changing tables

The ordinance requires all newly constructed or renovated city-owned and operated facilities to include changing tables installed in both men’s and women’s restrooms

Joel Caldwell shows off the new Tecnam Traveller on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. Kenai Aviation has since added two more Tecnam Travellers to its fleet. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Aviation adds 3rd plane to commuter service, readies for busy summer schedule

Kenai Aviation plans to increase its schedule to include 18 flights a day running seven days a week

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Kelley Cizek, right, speaks as Jason Tauriainen, Patti Truesdell and Penny Vadla listen during a special meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s school board in Soldotna on Monday.
‘They deserve better than this’

School board passes budget with broad swath of cuts, including pools, theaters and some support staff

The Alaska State Capitol on Friday, March 1, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska House passes budget with roughly $2,275 payments to residents, bill goes to Senate

The bill also includes a roughly $175 million, one-time increase in aid to school districts that would be paid according to a funding formula

The Kenai River flows near Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. The Riverfront Redevelopment project will impact much of Soldotna’s riverside areas downstream to the bridge. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna riverfront redevelopment planning moves forward

Soldotna City Council on Monday unanimously approved the creation of a project manager to shepherd the Riverfront Redevelopment Project

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Corey Cannon, who plays baseball as part of Soldotna Little League, speaks to the Soldotna City Council during their meeting in Soldotna on Wednesday.
Soldotna Little League receives donation for facility repairs

The city owns the fields, but the Little League leases the land and is responsible for the maintenance of the facilities

Aleutian Airways logo. Photo courtesy of Aleutian Airways
Aleutian airways to halt Homer service during runway project

Service will be suspended beginning April 15

Most Read