Alaska’s recession appears to be leveling out, the latest state employment data indicates. Newly released data on Alaskans’ wage income for the first quarter of 2017 point to a general stability of the economy and a possible easing of the recession. The data, from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, actually shows small increases in total wages in most sectors of Alaska’s economy. Wages increased by $25 million overall, or 0.6 percent, compared to the same period in 2016.
The wage growth is noteworthy because total wages had declined for the previous four quarters. Wages are not adjusted for inflation in the data. Private sector wages grew by 0.4 percent overall.
Wages in oil and gas were down by 14.0 percent and construction wages fell 10.8 percent. Health care wage growth remains strong, up 11.4 percent, and wages in transportation and warehousing grew by 4.9 percent. Federal government wages were up by 1.5 percent and wages for local government, which includes public schools and tribal government, grew 4.4 percent. State government wages fell by 3.5 percent.