Alaska predicted to add 5,000 jobs this year. Will there be enough workers to take them?


Alaska will have another 5,000 jobs open in 2023, but there will be even fewer workers to fill those jobs, according to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s latest report.

“Nonresidents fill about 20 percent of Alaska’s jobs. Some stay — about 10 percent each year — but most come temporarily to work in our seasonal or remote industries: seafood processing, tourism, and oil and gas. A record number of job openings across the country means less draw to Alaska for both temporary and long-term work,” economists said in the the department’s January Trends magazine.

“We expect some industries to regain and then top their 2019 employment levels while others will take longer,” the report said.

“The easiest gains appear to be behind us. In 2021, rebounds from pandemic lows came from re- openings and massive infusions of federal money through household stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits, and direct support to businesses and state and local governments. Rising oil prices and strong Alaska Permanent Fund investment returns that year also lifted state revenue projections. In 2022, Alaska continued to add jobs as students went back to school, cruise ships returned in full, more people traveled and ate out, and oil prices climbed,” the state report said.

Fewer people have been moving to the state and staying long enough to even apply for a Permanent Fund dividend, which is how the department gauges residency. As a share of the population, Alaska has always had the biggest yearly population flows both in and out, but in the last decade, the scale tipped to more loss than gain.

Net migration losses were large enough in some years to cause an overall population decline, although those losses leveled out and the total population increased by a tenth of a percentage point in 2021, the department said.

“Another consequence of net migration losses is that movers are disproportionately in their 20s and 30s — people of working age and those most likely to bring children with them,” it added.

The department expects all Alaska industries to grow or hold steady. Many of 2022’s patterns will continue this year, and no major changes are on the horizon, except from the federal infrastructure bill.

That infrastructure spending will just begin to ramp up and span at least five years, so the resulting growth and its timing are difficult to predict, the state report said.

A challenge for Alaska is that the worker shortage is exacerbated by an aging population and migration losses, especially of working-age Alaskans.


  1. Maybe some of the thousands of illegals Biden flew up this summer could wor… wait a minute. That was the plan this whole time!

  2. What JOBS would That Be….?? More Tourism/Hospitality Jobs???…More Low Paying Retail Jobs???….The Oil Companies & All the Attendant Businesses in the Oil Industry in Alaska are Holding Their Collective Breath…Who’s Kidding Who…??? Alaska is IN A SERIOUS RECESSION & SADLY Thanks to 2020/2021 Covid/Govt Mismanagement Alot of Business Have Gone….Forever…..I REPEAT, Alaska is IN A RECESSION and All of the Good Companies to work for are either GONE FOREVER or Working on Leaving.

    • Absolutely. Go touristing in the Denali Borough this summer and over 90% of the people you do business with will NOT be Alaskans.

      Many of them will be “bottom of the barrel” Outsiders and many will be foreigners.

      Oddly enough, the reason the foreign help is hired is because they cause fewer problems, work cheap, and work circles around the Americans.

      It eats me up when I see tourism as a “major” Alaskan industry when nearly all the primary and secondary revenue from it goes out of state or out of country.

      Holland America Princess is one of the great tourist pirates out there. Multinational company that takes a big cut of local tourist revenues by sending customer referrals.

    • Oh, so you want that $11/hr retail job?

      These are not oil patch jobs or resource development. These are low pay, no benefit jobs.

  3. Looks like a good opportunity for fishermen to get jobs so they don’t have to rely on federal handouts again.

    • Hahahahahahahahaha.

      Oh my, that’s rich.

      Do you know any, and I mean any commercial fishermen?

      Aw jeez. You’re funny.

      Just in case if you haven’t caught it, you won’t see any of these guys lining up to work at Walmart or the new burger joint.

      Btw, those are the kind of jobs they’re talking about. Low pay with no benefits

  4. Let’s cut the handouts from Uncle Sam and see who wants to work and who wants the taxpayer to support them.

  5. 2022-2023(?) will be the first recession caused by people not wanting to work as opposed to by there being no jobs available for them. I mean, have you ever seen so many “Help Wanted” signs? Have you ever seen so many restaurants closing early because they have no workers?

    The economist in me begs the following question: Is it really a recession if everyone who wants a job has one?

  6. Unfortunately, the only way you can get people to work these days is to pay them under the table, so they can continue to collect their various subsidies. Or pay them so much that it won’t matter. And even that is not always effective. If the government would allow these millions of border jumpers to work, as many of them would, problem solved. Then, they could finance through taxes the subsidy class, and the government employees.

  7. To be a successful society with prosperity you need careers, not just “jobs.” This 5K figure is just a number thrown out so someone like Murkowski can pat herself on the back for all the “work she’s done.” Meanwhile, our $1.7T budget will continue to pay for people not to work.

        • OK Mark, if you think Alaska DOL throws out such numbers “so someone like Murkowski can pat herself on the back” then you are the one needing normal schooling IMO. Further, why would they (DOL) do that?
          Jimbo is out to lunch with his comment and you are even further out to lunch for attempting to sugar coat it. Your turn.

          • Bill he never said the princess had anything to do with DOL he used her name because it would lite a fire under your narrow views. It was just an example so back at ya school boy.

    • Make the migrants our slaves and the rest of us can live on their backs. After all, they mostly don’t have a college education. And haven’t yet figured out how to be on disability at 20 and snap and all of that. Yet.

  8. I wanted to leave a comment for the moderators, f*** you all, you’re no better than the f***ing pedo pushing libtards. I post things and they never get published, so much for 1st amendment rights, right?!?! Hope u took your death jab and that booster you f***ing Hypocrites, I can’t wait for the day the purge begins… oh wait, it already is, Damar was just the first to be seen on the big stage

    • This guy wonders why his comments never get published. I redacted the worst of it. Pro-tip for everyone: Keep it civil. We are all Alaskans here and we can disagree without being disagreeable. Thanks for commenting. – sd

  9. We need to cut out the free money for not working. Cutting unemployment benefits may make jobs available. Many employers can not find new employees because the government is paying them to stay home.
    Granted, it may not be the ideal job you want or previously worked in might not be available at this time. Or get a job in the trades

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