The Department of Labor’s monthly report shows that wages in Alaska grew by 11 percent since 2010. The majority of boroughs and census areas still have below-average wages.
Nearly all parts of the state saw some wage growth, but rates varied from a 48 percent increase in the Aleutians East Borough to
a slight loss for the Lake and Peninsula Borough.
“If we exclude 2020 from the calculation, the increase through 2019 was just 3 percent. Although it might seem counterintuitive for a year of massive job loss, the pandemic boosted the average wage notably between 2019 and 2020 because of the types of jobs Alaska lost and the way the average annual wage is calculated,” the report says.
This is because the type of jobs lost were in the private sector during the pandemic, while government workers suffered no losses.
“Most jobs lost to COVID-19 were lower-wage, part-time positions in the service industries, pushing up the average wage for the remaining jobs,” the report explains. “For example, the average wage for the leisure and hospitality sector in 2020 was $25,164. These are mainly lower-paying, part-time jobs in entertainment, hotels, bars, and restaurants.”
Anyone could conclude that even though we have full employment today, and tourism is expected to crank up full bore and our commodities like oil, lead, gold and silver are up in price, if we don’t have private sector employers moving here, building new plants, etc. we do not have a relatively strong economy.
Read the Department of Labor report at this link.