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Category: Econ 2-19

Economic Report 2-19

Economic Report 2-19

Feb. 14, 2019 In this Issue: Native corporations’ new stake in slope oilNew projects will pay $173 million/year in royalties at peak EconomyMat-Su showing job gains Health CareMedicaid covers 210,000 Alaskans Governor’s budget cuts hit across the state Business IntelligenceConstruction spending nudges up this year; oil, militaryCruise tourism will show sharp growthAnchorage looks at tax holiday for new housingBethel’s farm now serves outlying villages in Y-KAIDEA business loans show a dip, likely due to recessionMore small communities out of compliance…

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No signal from Dunleavy yet on state health authority plan

No signal from Dunleavy yet on state health authority plan

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has not said what he plans to do with a Walker administration initiative to create a state health authority. The idea has been in the discussion stage for several months. When he was in the state senate Dunleavy proposed a similar plan to centralize public employee health plans under state management. Many municipalities and school districts, who would see their independently-run health plans merged under the state, are not happy with the idea and want an “opt…

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Transportation

Transportation

Truckers need younger drivers Alaska’s truckers are working to ease a federal rule that inhibits the industry’s ability to hire younger drivers, age 18 to 21. The rule applies to freight in interstate commerce and even if the mode of transport to Alaska is by water or air, if the “last mile” of delivery is by truck, which is most often the case, drivers must be 21 or older under the rule. Trucking companies, which are being hit hard by…

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Fisheries

Fisheries

Alaska seafood still tops menus Alaska seafood retained its No. 1 ranking as the most asked-for protein brand on restaurant menus for the third year a row, according to Dataessentials Research. In 2016 Alaska seafood passed Angus Beef, previously the most commonly requested protein. Branding is important, also. The research found that 87 percent of consumers are more likely to order a fresh seafood dish if an Alaska seafood logo is on the menu, and 94 percent said they are…

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Energy

Energy

Renewables: 30% of Alaska power Renewable energy, mainly from hydro and wind, provided 30 percent of Alaska electric power requirements in 2016 but the percentage dropped to 29 percent in 2017 because of variations in rain and seasonal snow-pack, which affect hydro. The state’s goal is 50 percent renewable by 2025 but achieving that will be problematic given the small number of new renewable energy projects being planned, the state Department of Commerce and Economic De- velopment told legislators. The…

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Minerals

Minerals

A consortium of tribal governments in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region has appealed state approval of permits issued for the Donlin Gold project in the mid-Kuskokwim River area. Earth Justice, an environmental law firm, filed the appeals on behalf of 14 tribes in the region. The mine is in an advanced plan- ning stage and would be built and operated by owners Barrick Gold and Novagold Resources. Land and mineral rights at the mine are owned by Calista Corp., the regional Native…

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Petroleum

Petroleum

Top officials depart state agency Two top state officials who deal with oil and gas are leaving. Chantal Walsh, director of the Division of Oil and Gas, and Paul Decker, senior petroleum geogist in the division’s resource evaluation group, are headed out. The moves are unrelated to the change of administration. Decker is taking a position at Oil Search, the company now developing the Pikka prospect, while Walsh is returning to PetroTechnical Resources, where she worked previously. ConocoPhillips’ Alaska earnings…

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Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence

Construction spending nudges up this year; oil, military A survey of expected construction has estimated that spending in the industry will rise by 10 percent in 2019 over 2018, to a total value of $7.2 billion. Associated General Contractors of Alaska sponsored the study, which is done annually by the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Re- search. Oil and gas and military-related building will be the fastest-growing parts of the industry, with both expected to grow…

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Governor’s budget cuts hit across the state

Governor’s budget cuts hit across the state

It’s hard to believe Gov. Mike Dunleavy is really serious about the draconian budget he introduced March 13. The cuts are severe across the state and affect almost every significant community and inter- est group, from coastal communities that depend on the state ferry system (gone, in its present form) to a state university system cut in half (essentially gutted.) The public school system would take a big hit, and the entire tax base of the North Slope Borough, in…

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Economy

Economy

Mat-Su showing job gains The Matanuska-Susitna Borough gained jobs from 2015 to 2018, at a time when most communities in the state lost employment, according to data from the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Mat-Su employment was up 3.4 percent during that period, or 769 jobs. Most of the gains were in health care and social assistance. Anchorage lost 6,084 jobs in the same years, and the statewide employment loss was 12,700.