Alaska wages grew over decade by 11 percent, with government work steady, but private jobs hit by pandemic


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.


  1. You can trust us, we are the government. Of course the wages grew for government workers and the private sector suffered. If you can not see the fluff of this article then you deserve the government you are a slave to.

  2. Pre-pandemic, I employed 12-15 young people part time and paid wages well above industry standards. Most of them used this job to supplement their other income and many used it to pay for college, which worked out well since I could only offer weekend employment. Now it’s impossible to find anyone who wants to work in a quantity that would enable us to operate at pre-pandemic levels. It is not about the pay ; they just aren’t there. I have the customers, but with only my wife and I, we can do only so much. But we are unbroken. And I am sort of glad that everyone else gobbled up all the free government money before I even knew how to apply for it. And I am glad that the government sector were paid not to work and even got salary raises. They were not working at home, because every time I tried to get in touch to get clarification on the weekly mandates, I got crickets. The assembly could not even be bothered to mail a copy of the ever changing mandates to the businesses affected. Or an email even. My only source of information was MRA. When I tried to get a 30 day extension on my property taxes until I could sell my toys, it too fell on deaf ears. Yes, I am glad that the government employees did not have to suffer. I am glad that they did not not have to rob their retirement account, sell everything of value and close their business during this period. I only hope that the people in the districts represented by the nine assembly members who made this time so much worse will actually vote this time around. And if you feel like voting for more bonds, try to remember that members of the private sector can not afford higher property taxes at this time. More money is not going to make better education or prettier parks.

  3. One of the reasons I’ll vote for Satan over Dunleavy is while we (the private sector) lost jobs and wages, the holy state workers went untouched. He could have furloughed them and didn’t.

    Alaska has a caste system.
    1-Elected officials
    2-Union and state workers
    3-Plebeians (the rest of us)

    Face it: we exist to serve the state.

    • I don’t know who “The Masked Avenger” is… but I appreciate the truth of his bold comments. Perhaps they are so bold because he cowardly hides behind a fake name.

  4. Good comments, I’m disgusted with these so called leaders. Price of fuel going up, electricity going up, property taxes going up,food prices. Dunleavy must go. He makes statan look good.

  5. Article title says, “….with government work steady, but private jobs hit by pandemic.” Go figure.

  6. You sound like someone with cancer wishing everybody else got it. I don’t know how much people worked but wishing they were all fired is not a good idea. 11 percent pat increase over the last ten years is all workers. With 2.5% annual inflation that’s a 14% pay cut. Quit whining

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