Brian Holst, executive director of the Juneau Economic Development Council, speaks about the council’s economic indicator report to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce during its weekly luncheon at the Moose Lodge on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Brian Holst, executive director of the Juneau Economic Development Council, speaks about the council’s economic indicator report to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce during its weekly luncheon at the Moose Lodge on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Empire Live: Brian Holst speaks at the Chamber Luncheon

Live updates from the Luncheon.


The local economy is in relatively good standing, Holst told the crowd. Tourism and mining are growing industries that are providing good jobs. The private sector has been able to consistently provide compensation for lost government jobs.

12:55 p.m.

It’s critical that we look at growing entrepreneurship, Holst says, you need to encourage people to take risks in your community.

Tourism is growing and the winter economy needs development.

Stable government will lead to growth for Juneau, Holst says.

12:50 p.m.

If trends continue, Holst says, 50 percent of people will be freelance contract workers, he says. That means that come people will have jobs but also participate in freelance jobs in the so-called “gig economy.”

Juneau has a high cost of living, slightly higher than other cities in Alaska. The largest contributor to that cost is health care, he says.

12:45 p.m.

Construction industry is continue to produce solidly, in terms of homes and rental construction. The city is at roughly six percent vacancies, which is ideal for a city to have.

Home sales are looking good and prices continue to go up. Days on market is short and prices are sold in favor of the seller, Holst says.

12:40 p.m.

The 20-39 year-old group is a growing portion of the population which is a good sign, Holst says, lots of entrepreneurship in that group.

Juneau has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state and 45 percent of households have an income of $100,000 or more.

Thirty percent of Juneau households have retirement income which, Holst says, is a source of stability in the local economy.

12:35 p.m.

There is a 2,800 job gap between July and December, he says, saying there is growth in summer jobs but losses in winter jobs.

Juneau is the most visited city in Alaska, Holst says, showing a graph that shows a steadily increasing number of cruise ship passengers visiting each year.

Traded industry jobs, jobs that involve the exchange of goods such as mining or seafood, have grown from 2009 to 2018.

12:30 p.m.

Highest paying sectors of the economy are mining and federal government, he says, showing a graph with the size and various industries.

This is the eighth straight year that we’ve lost government jobs in Juneau.

Overall state government is diminishing but not as fast in Anchorage as other parts of the state, Holst says.

12:25 p.m.

Government is a drag on our economy, he says, while tourism and mining are contributing to growth.

Three sectors contribute almost as much earning to the economy as all remaining sectors combined, he tells the crowd, Mining, state government, and local government.

Mining is really, really important for Juneau’s economy he says.

“Today we’re all a little bit richer,” Holst says in reference to Permanent Fund Dividend payments being made today.

Holst takes the stage to present this year’s economic indicators report from the Juneau Economic Development Council.

12:18 p.m.

Introductions are just beginning as chamber members finish their lunches.

12 p.m.

Brian Holst of the Juneau Economic Development Council and member of the School Board is speaking at this week’s Juneau Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at the Moose Family Lodge.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at 523-2228 or

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