Alaska expected to lose 7,500 jobs in 2017

KETCHIKAN — State analysts predict Alaska will lose thousands of jobs this year as it continues to deal with the effects of low oil prices.

The Alaska Department of Labor estimates the state will lose about 7,500 jobs in 2017, a little more than 2 percent of its total workforce, The Ketchikan Daily News reported.

Economist Caroline Shultz said in the state’s annual job forecast report that there will be widespread reductions in service industries that rely on consumer spending. Alaskans will hold on to more of their dollars this year because of lower wages and less confidence in the state economy, she said.

Southeast Alaska is expected to lose 1.7 percent of its jobs this year, compared to the state’s 2.3 percent, according to Juneau-based economist Conor Bell.

Analysts predict most of the 600 job losses in Southeast Alaska will be in state government and construction, but those in the region’s health care and tourism industries are expecting to see growth.

An expansion of the Ketchikan Medical Center is almost complete, and the facility has recently hired new orthopedic and general surgeons.

“We’re always hiring, and we’ve experienced some growth over the last few years,” said Shanna Criscola, human resources partner with PeaceHealth, which is working with the city of Ketchikan on the hospital expansion.

The southeast region of the state is also expected to see another 1 million cruise passengers this summer, which is expected to boost the local economy. Russell Thomas, co-owner of Alaska Sportfishing Expeditions, said the company’s three resort properties are already seeing 2017 bookings surpass what they were last year.

More in News

At a permafrost monitoring site northwest of Barrow years ago were researchers Max Brewer, Jerry Brown and Vladimir Romanovsky. (Courtesy Photo / Kenji Yoshikawa)
Alaska Science Forum: 30 years on semi-solid ground

People no longer squint at him with a puzzled look when he mentions what he studies.

The jury in a trial for a 2018 killing is currently sequestered as they deliberate. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Jury deliberations last through second day in trial for Yakutat killing

The jury will decide whether the defendant is guilty or innoncent of the charges.

It's a police car until you look closely. The eye shies away, the . (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Friday, Jan. 28, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Alaska Rep. David Eastman sits at his desk on the Alaska House floor in Juneau, Alaska, on March 5, 2020. (AP Photo / Becky Bohrer)
Eastman could be sanctioned over Oath Keeper ties

Actions being discussed include expulsion, censure or a vote of disapproval.

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a Glance for Wednesday, Jan. 26

Numbers come from reports from the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency… Continue reading

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Mickey Prescott checks the smoking process. (Vivian Faith Prescott / For the Capital City Weekly)
Planet Alaska: Lessons from the smokehouse

Dear Readers, here are Lessons from the Smokehouse, things we’ve learned in 2021.

Most Read