Wages in Alaska rose 11% over a decade as government work stable but private jobs hit by pandemic

The Department of Labor’s monthly report shows wages in Alaska have risen 11% since 2010. The majority of boroughs and census areas still have below-average wages.

Almost all areas of the state saw some wage growth, but rates ranged from a 48% increase in the Eastern Aleutian Borough to
a slight loss for the borough of the lake and the peninsula.

“If we exclude 2020 from the calculation, the increase to 2019 was only 3%. While it may seem counterintuitive for a year of massive job loss, the pandemic has driven average wages up notably between 2019 and 2020 due to the types of jobs lost in Alaska and how the average annual wage is calculated,” the report said.

Indeed, the type of jobs lost were in the private sector during the pandemic, while government employees suffered no losses.

“Most of the jobs lost to COVID-19 were in part-time, low-wage positions in service industries, pushing up the average wages of the remaining jobs,” the report explains. “For example, the average recreation and hospitality industry salary in 2020 was $25,164. These are mainly part-time and lower paid jobs in entertainment, hotels, bars and restaurants.

Anyone could conclude that even if we have full employment today, and tourism should pick up at full speed, and the price of our commodities like oil, lead, gold and silver is on the rise, if we don’t have private sector employers moving here, building new factories and so on. we don’t have a relatively strong economy.

Read the Ministry of Labor report at this link.

Maria D. Ervin