Alaska’s construction industry could lose 3,000 jobs in 2016

ANCHORAGE — Officials predict Alaska’s construction industry could lose as much as 18 percent of its workforce this year.

“You take 18,000 construction workers in the state and 18 percent of them if there’s a decline, that could amount to over 3,000 jobs not being here next year,” said John Mackinnon, executive director of the Alaska Association of General Contractors.

The news comes after AGC announced that Alaska was one of only six states that didn’t show growth in the construction industry from 2015 to 2016, the Anchorage news station KTUU-TV reported. Most of the states with declining construction industries rely heavily on resources, AGC said.

Mackinnon said the state’s budget deficit has not yet affected construction contracts because the funds being spent this year were set aside several years ago.

“The money we are spending this year was appropriated three, four, five years ago. The money that wasn’t appropriated last year because of the budget, that money won’t be spent for a year or two.” Mackinnon said. “We can handle a year or two of a down capital budget, but you get beyond that and you’ll see significant cuts in construction employment.”

The state has been struggling with a multibillion-dollar deficit amid low oil prices.

State economist Neal Fried said the expected job cuts are not a surprise as the construction industry is a reflection of the state’s economy.

“Construction really is an accommodator for the rest of our economy. When the economy grows it means you build more facilities, and when it is slowing down the opposite occurs,” Freid said.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of July 20

Here’s what to expect this week.

Juneau Municipal Attorney Robert Palmer reacts to praise for his service from Assembly members after his resignation was announced during a May 13 meeting. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Three city attorney finalists to be interviewed in public sessions this week by Juneau Assembly

Two Juneau residents with CBJ experience and D.C.-based Army attorney seek to replace Robert Palmer.

Angela Rodell, former CEO of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., speaks to the House Finance Committee on Thursday, June 24, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file photo)
Angela Rodell, former Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. CEO, says she’s running for mayor

First-time candidate to challenge incumbent Beth Weldon; filing deadline for local election is today.

Republican U.S. House candidate Nick Begich, with sign-holding supporters, waves to Midtown Anchorage motorists on Election Day in 2022. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Some Alaska Republican candidates pledge to withdraw if they aren’t atop GOP votes in primary

Pledges are a way to circumvent ranked choice voting, according to one supporter.

People protesting the death of Steven Kissack gather at Marine Park after marching through downtown Juneau on Sunday afternoon. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire)
Protesters demand police accountability following death of Steven Kissack

Advocates gather where he was shot, say they are raising their voices because “he’s unable to speak.”

A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Sitka helicopter hovers over Sitka Sound during routine hoist training. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Lt. Cmdr Wryan Webb)
Yakutat-bound charter flight missing from Juneau

Flight departed from Juneau on Saturday with three people aboard, according to U.S. Coast Guard.

President Biden at the White House on July 3. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)
President Joe Biden drops out of race, scrambling the campaign for the White House

Withdraws under pressure from fellow Democrats; endorses Vice President Kamala Harris to take on Trump.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Thursday, July 18, 2024

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

Most Read