ANCHORAGE — Alaska residents are making less money than they have in years, with the state’s median income dropping below that of 1989.
A new study by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development has found that, adjusting for inflation, the state’s median yearly income has dropped from the equivalent of $49,000 in 1989 to $45,000 today, according to KTUU-TV.
The report shows that 60 percent of those earning low wages are women. Women were much more likely to earn lower wages than men in 1989 and again in 2014.
“Women in Alaska face a lot of different obstacles,” said Tamiah Liebersbach, Program Coordinator for Women’s Economic Empowerment with the YWCA Alaska. “We have really male-dominated careers in terms of the ones that pay more. When you look at the oil industry, mining, fishing, more traditionally male kind of work, women have that hurdle to get into these higher-paying industries.”
State economist Neal Fried said job growth in the 1990s was primarily in the service sector, which typically pays lower wages. He said that growth paired with losses in high-wage industries like timber and oil have dragged the median down.