Alaska job losses forecast to taper off in 2018

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The employment forecast for Alaska in 2018 is out.

The forecast appears in a series of articles in the January edition of Alaska Economic Trends published by the Research and Analysis Unit of the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Economist Karinne (kah-reen-ah) Wiebold (We-bold) was among the guests on Action Line Tuesday.  "We do expect there to be continuing job losses at least in the early part of 2018, but those losses are going to be significantly smaller than they were in '17 or '16.  So we might still be in the red, but we're pulling out of it."

Wiebod says they predict a one half percent decrease which accounts for about 18-hundred jobs.  That compares with a job loss of 63-hundred in 2016 and another 36-hundred last year.  She added that if their estimates pan out the state would have lost nearly 12,000 jobs between 2015 and the end of 2018.

Most of the job losses have come in state government and the oil and gas industry.

The economist said Southeast Alaska is projected to experience a point six percent job loss in 2018 which amounts to about 200 jobs.

Unit Chief Dan Robinson said Anchorage is expected to continue to lose jobs but not at the rate of the last two years when about 5,000 jobs were lost.

On the other he said Fairbanks is expected to gain jobs.  A point eight percent job growth is predicted in 2018 thanks to a big jump in military construction spending.


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