Alaska job market rebounds, led by tourism and government employment


The Alaska job market has ticked upward this summer. In June, the statewide job count was up by 6,400, a 1.9% increase from the same period the previous year, according to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

One industry that has shown resilience was leisure and hospitality. As the visitor season moved into full swing, the sector added 2,200 jobs, surpassing pre-pandemic employment levels.

Tourists from around the world are taking in Alaska’s natural beauty this year, leading to an expected record-breaking 1.6 million passengers this season.

Various other sectors contributed to job growth. Professional and business services saw an increase of 600 jobs and health care and retail also added 600 jobs each.

With two exceptions, all Alaska industries either grew or remained stable.

The financial services sector and information technology were down by 200 and 100 jobs, respectively. These two sectors have been shedding jobs since the 2000s as automation, artificial intelligence, and technological advancements reduce the need for human labor.

The government sector expanded, with the federal government adding 600 jobs, and local government, which included public schools, up by 500 jobs. State government added 200 jobs, though it still has not reached pre-pandemic levels, the department said. Federal government jobs in Alaska have exceeded pre-pandemic levels, while state and local government jobs have not quite recovered.

According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, all government employment in Alaska totaled 80,400 in June, back to the level it was in July of 2019, as can be seen in this chart from BLS:

Despite the promising job growth, Alaska’s unemployment rate remained an important metric to gauge economic health. In June, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 3.7 percent, which is barely sabove the comparable U.S. rate of 3.6 percent.


  1. We can’t grow economically if our major growth industry is government.

    But we can grow the hell out of our taxes to feed the government beast.

  2. Wow so now that the plandemic is over and people are free to travel again the tourism jobs are coming back…….how much did this study cost? The government jobs being on the uptick is actually not a good sign though. Those jobs dont create they only leach ever increasing amounts of tax money.

  3. We have excellent project positions on the N-Slope available, provided you apply yourself and bring about value.

  4. Tourism has two months before ending. Government dependent workers contribute Nothing to Alaska’s economy except spread the wealth the private industry made around. We definitely must discourage our neighbors and friends by conversation from ending up in a government dependent job. If your job doesn’t create and sell a product, the job is pointless and unAmerican. Big contributing factor to what made America Great and Strong was its small businesses.

  5. So IN OTHER WORDS…All of the Nice Old Alaskan Based Companies & The Jobs/Careers that went with them are GONE…No More BP, ARCO,…No More Oil Patch,Forestry,Outdoors…or Skilled Jobs….But Jobs in tourism (Seasonal Min~low wage/May~Sept) are still here…and Government jobs…Doing What Precisely???…There is NO SILVER Lining….Alaska’s Economy is Literally Running out of Gas!!!…Start Telling the Truth & Stop Telling Us Alaskans the Sun is Out on Dec 21st!!!

  6. So governments all grew bigger. More taxpayer dollars and more over site. We are paying for our own surveillance.

  7. So no mining, fishing, logging, or oil jobs. In a resource extraction state. All the new jobs are seasonal, or require taxpayer money to exist. We’ve just gained 10,000 Peltoa voters.

  8. Curiously I can fly into fairbanks all summer and go to the first hotel I see and get a room no reservations. I have never had this happen in years. Something stinks with these alleged tourist numbers.

    • That hasn’t happened for us….we are a statewide service contractor and have had to rearrange field work schedules because there are no accommodations available. Fairbanks included. Most recently Kenai peninsula, insane down there right now.

  9. One is temporary and the other is most likely a waste of time and costly to the tax payers.

  10. I prefer small government. The state of Alaska has egregious treatment of minorities notably natives who are seldom hired and never retained. There is no evidence of parity and fairness in the public employment sector. The state of Alaska is not an employer of good will toward anyone but 100 per cent caucasions. Then, opportunity is incredible. The state won’t even grab raw racial data because they show such stark discrimination and have all these years after 1964. It should be a scandal.

  11. The only way out of the mess we are in economically is to SHRINK government, since government employees are an anchor on the economy. At some point, there are not enough people working in the private sector to support the huge government employee population. That point was passed a long time ago, and the printing presses at the Fed are making the money we earn worth less every year.

    • Absolutly Agree. The left seems to think money can literally be grown on trees. Complete disconnect to the reality of economics.

  12. So pandering and the socialist financial shell game are the leading employers ? Looks great for Alaskas future. How about we try actully doing something productive ?

  13. This is EXACTLY what the Green Lobby wanted for Alaska: tourism and gov’t. The solution is not only to shrink government but to get at the very least the STATE to proclaim that federal control of our land is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. See Article I, Sec. 8, Cl. 17 of the document. If we cannot understand the Constitution for our own self-interest, why should we expect the federal leviathan to do it for us? There is no courage to do this from any typical Republican, because otherwise they will be … “Eastman-ized”.

  14. Sounds like we have a short window to gain tourism dollars to pay for our increased taxes. While the government searches for a way to stop private sector from even this income. Like regulate the heck out of the B&B’s.

  15. Yes, what we did with petroleum revenues was not develop downstream industries such as refineries, plastics and other petroleum spin-offs. Instead we grew government and we grew dependencies. We also grew our population, our public employee retirement obligations, etc. even as we depleted our oil reserves. Today we have record food stamp demand increases even as we have low unemployment. We’ve done the same with mining and forest products; failing to develop value-added secondary manufacturing.

    Forest products manufacturing was a special case. ANCSA allowed new private corporations to high-grade the best timber and ship it in round log form, and at a harvest rate that exceeded sustained yield levels by thousands of percent, until the industry disappeared. The pulp and lumber industry we had, which employed 4,000, mostly in year-round, union jobs, disappeared even as ANCSA harvests flooded the market with logs. As nongovernmental economists sometimes say, Alaska has the thinnest and narrowest state economy the US has ever had.

    I don’t know that this is the fault of elected officials, but there is enough aggregate blame to go around. It’s not a surprise that working-age Alaskans, especially those who don’t want to work for government, are leaving. We are more and more becoming a state of government employees, retirees and people who choose to live off governmental transfer payments rather than work. I know this is not a surprise to anyone of course.

  16. Two of the worst jobs in terms of contributing anything useful to everyday Alaskans. Not a good sign of a healthy economy.

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