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Category: Econ 4-19

Economic Report 4-19

Economic Report 4-19

March 28, 2019 In this Issue: Economy perks up; now budget hits raise worryFirst employment increase in three years; may decline againBusinesses fret over Anchorage port modernization InfrastructureMat-Su transportation grant  EnergyRailbelt utilities at odds, againLower water levels in Southeast Health careNew hospital planned for Sitka If governor prevails on budget, huge adverse impacts Petroleum, construction lead rise in statewide employment Health care growth slowed in February; Medicaid cuts will slow it further  Business IntelligenceDespite austere times, state nurtures strategic developments Permanent…

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Minerals

Minerals

AIDEA’s mine-access projects Alaska Industrial Development Authority, the state’s development finance corporation, is work- ing closely with developers at the Palmer mine- project near Haines being planned by Constantine Metal Resources and Dowa Metals and Mining Co. Ltd. Palmer is a multi-metal project with copper, zinc, gold and silver. The project appears to be three to five years from moving into development, AIDEA officials said. The authority’s role would be in helping finance infrastructure, which would include a short access…

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Fisheries

Fisheries

Trade war Alaska’s China sales The China trade war has resulted in a drop of Alaska seafood sales to China by 20 percent in 2018. Another hit in 2018 is expected by the state’s seafood industry, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute told a legislative committee in Juneau. Sixty five percent of Alaska processors and other stakeholders report immediately losing China sales when the tit-for-tat escalation of tariffs began. Inventories of frozen product are meanwhile build- ing up as seafood companies seek…

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Petroleum

Petroleum

State: Costs appear to be rising for new North Slope projects North Slope operators are reporting higher costs as activity increases, state officials are say- ing. Estimates of future capital and operating costs are filed by the companies with the state Department of Revenue. Between reports filed in December and March, estimated capital investments in projects increased from $3.14 billion to $3.38 billion in 2021; $3.24 billion to $3.35 billion in 2022 and $2.6 billion to $2.9 billion in 2023,…

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Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence

Despite austere times, state nurtures strategic developments Despite austere times, the state is still nurturing the South Denali Visitors’ Center in Denali State Park south of the more well-known Denali National Park. Phase one for the project, which involves access improvements, is now complete and $25 million for more work is in the governor’s FY 2020 state capital budget. Federal and private funding are also being solicited. In a briefing, legislators were told that one of the smaller cruise companies…

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Health care growth slowed in February; Medicaid cuts will slow it further

Health care growth slowed in February; Medicaid cuts will slow it further

One aspect of the February jobs report is the slowing of health care increases. In February health care showed a 0.5 percent gain, or 200 jobs, a rate much lower than in previous months. One aspect of the governor’s planned reductions in state Medicaid spending will be to cut reimbursement rates to medical providers by 5 percent and forgoing an inflation adjustment. This will further slow the expansion of employment.

Petroleum, construction lead rise in statewide employment

Petroleum, construction lead rise in statewide employment

Here’s some positive news: The small increase in statewide employment reported for February by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development (page 1) was led by growth in petroleum and construction, the same industries that first declined when the state’s recession hit in late 2915. One company active this winter, ConocoPhillips Alaska, said it has about 800 employed this winter in drilling, ice road construction and support work, up 100 over winter employment levels in recent winters. “It is…

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If governor prevails on budget, huge adverse impacts

If governor prevails on budget, huge adverse impacts

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed FY 2020 state budget would have severe effects on the state’s economy and in particular on municipal governments due to the shifting of costs from the state to local governments. The University of Alaska Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Research has estimated that the aggregate effects of the government reductions in state, local and federal funds would approximate 16,924 jobs to be lost. This would be partly offset by estimated jobs gained from a “fully-funded”…

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Health care

Health care

New hospital planned for Sitka South East Alaska Regional Health Consortium and the City and Borough of Sitka have agreed conceptual terms for the sale of the municipal Sitka Community Hospital to SEARHC. The regional health consortium is also now planning construction of a major new hospital. The pending acquisition of the municipal hospital would involve the sale of the facility’s health care business to SEAR- HC and the building leased by the consortium. Different financial options for the purchase…

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Energy

Energy

Railbelt utilities at odds, again Lack of unity among Alaska’s “railbelt” electric utilities was once again on display when two utilities told the Regulatory Commission of Alaska they are unhappy with a plan proposed by four other utilities on plans for a private company to invest in grid infrastructure upgrades. The proposal is to form an entity jointly-owned by utilities and a private investor. Anchorage’s city-owned Municipal Light & Power, Golden Valley Electric Association of Fairbanks, Homer Electric Association and…

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