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

Alaska Rep. David Eastman, a Republican from Wasilla, sits at his desk on the Alaska House floor in Juneau, Alaska, on March 5, 2020. Alaska lawmakers are discussing whether to sanction Eastman who is also a member of the Oath Keepers far-right paramilitary organization according to the Anchorage Daily News. Eastman, who is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, confirmed with the Associated Press, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, that he joined the Oath Keepers a little over 12 years ago, “along with 38,000 others who have committed to honoring oaths we have taken.” (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)
State lawmaker could be sanctioned over Oath Keeper ties

Eastman was identified as a “life member” of the Oath Keepers last year

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
As cases surge, public health officials contemplate how to live with virus

Contact tracing and data collection will have to be reworked if COVID is here to stay

Upper Cook Inlet Exclusive Economic Zone can be seen on this map provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (Image via fisheries.noaa.gov)
Soldotna approves filing of EEZ lawsuit brief

The lawsuit seeks to reopen commercial salmon fishing in the Upper Cook Inlet Exclusive Economic Zone

University of Alaska Interim President Pat Pitney, bottom left, spoke to UA students in a virtual forum on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, and was joined by several UA administrators including UA Southeast President Karen Carey, bottom left, and UA Anchorage Vice Chancellor Bruce Schultz, top left. At top right, an American Sign Language professional provides translation services. (Screenshot)
UA President: University has turned a corner on funding

System sees modest increase in budget for first time in years

Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer; Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna; Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak and Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, spoke to reporters Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, immediately following Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s State of the State address. Members of the Senate Republican leadership said they appreciated the governor’s optimism, and hoped it signaled a better relationship between the administration and the Legislature. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Lawmakers welcome tone change in governor’s address

With caveats on financials, legislators optimistic about working together

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID deaths, hospitalizations climb statewide

The total number of statewide COVID deaths is nearly equivalent to the population of Funny River.

A fisher holds a reel on the Kenai River near Soldotna on June 30, 2021. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Restrictions on sport fishing announced

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced summer sport fishing regulations Wednesday

Community agencies administer social services to those in need during the Project Homeless Connect event Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘It’s nice to be able to help folks’

Project Homeless Connect offers services, supplies to those experiencing housing instability

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce attends the March 2, 2021, borough assembly meeting at the Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers at the Borough Administration Building in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Former talk-show host to manage Pierce gubernatorial campaign

Jake Thompson is a former host of KSRM’s Tall, Dark and Handsome Show and Sound-off talk-show

Most Read