Meilani Schijvens, owner and Director of Rain Coast Data, gives her Southeast by the Numbers report to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce during its weekly luncheon at the Moose Lodge on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Meilani Schijvens, owner and Director of Rain Coast Data, gives her Southeast by the Numbers report to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce during its weekly luncheon at the Moose Lodge on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Empire Live: Economic outlook for Southeast Alaska over the past year

Live updates from the Luncheon.

Summary: Despite growth being flat in Southeast, the economy is stable. But there is uncertainty surrounding the financial future concerning the state and federal governments. Read the full story here: Economic outlook for Southeast a mixed bag

12:50 p.m.

The trade war with China has adversely affected Alaska’s natural resource industries.

“Drought that we’ve been experiencing is really hurtful to some of our communities,” she says, as well as a “marine heatwave” which has affected the seafood industry.

12:45 p.m.

“Most of our industries are flat,” Schijvens says. Southeast Alaska added only two jobs last year, in terms of total net job growth.

Education helps balance out the seasonality of the Southeast economy. Industries like tourism and fishing peak in the summer, while education jobs peak in the winter.

“Southeast Alaska is getting put on the map as a culinary destination,” she says.

Forty-two percent of businesses are in the tourism industry are hiring jobs in the next 12 months.

12:40 p.m.

“We need more health care workers in Southeast Alaska.”

There’s a lot of competition for health care workers in the U.S., Schijvens says, which means that employers use higher compensation to draw workers here, but that raises the cost of health care.

The No. 2 reason people leave their jobs in Southeast is lack of child care, No. 1 is cost of living.

12:35 p.m.

“Construction is set to grow, but actually that’s another tourism story,” Schijvens says. Tourism industry infrastructure has a number of projects either in process or planned throughout Southeast.

But state jobs losses are continuing. Oil peaked in the 1980s, she says, and those prices bolstered government jobs but the price of oil fell in 2016.

Alaska is the 6th largest oil producing state. “Our relationship with oil is changing,” she says.

The permanent fund is now more important to the state budget than oil and all other taxes combined.

12:30 p.m.

Schijvens takes the stage to explain the data presented in the By the Numbers report. Job growth, “is about as flat as it can be,” she says. But wage growth has been up, driven by health care and tourism jobs, which are paying more.

Visitor industry jobs make up 18 percent of the jobs in Southeast Alaska, she says, and make up 11 percent of the wages.

Projections for 2020 show that Juneau will receive the most cruise ship visitors with 1.4 million visitors. Cruise ship passengers make up 90 percent of all tourists to Southeast, she says.

The average annual cruise ship visitor increase has been 4.4 percent over 20 years, according to her data.

12:20 p.m.

Venables takes the stage after introductions by the Chamber. He is joined by Meilani Schijvens of Rain Coast Data.

“We’re known for our support of the Alaska Marine Highway System,” he says. The cornerstone of every industry is energy and transportation, he said. “The wealth of our state is all around us,” Venables said, referring to the state’s natural resources.

12:15 p.m

Southeast Conference Executive Director Robert Venables is speaking at this week’s Juneau Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at the Moose Family Lodge. Venables is speaking about the Conference’s annual report, “Southeast Alaska By the Numbers.”

The report details the economic outlook for Southeast Alaska over the past year.

Southeast Conference is a regional economic development organizations and seeks to promote economic activities in Southeast Alaska.


• Contact reporter Peter Segall at 523-2228 or psegall@juneauempire.com.


More in News

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of Sept. 18

Here’s what to expect this week.

An Alaska judge has ruled that a state lawmaker affiliated with the Oath Keepers, Rep. David Eastman, shown in this February 2022 photo, may stay on the general election ballot in November even though he's likely ineligible to hold public office  (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Judge keeps Oath Keepers lawmaker on November ballot

Judge ordered delaying certifying the result of the race until a trial scheduled for December.

Water rushes down Front Street, just a half block from the Bering Sea, in Nome, Alaska, on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022 as the remnants of Typhoon Merbok moved into the region. It was a massive storm system — big enough to cover the mainland U.S. from the Pacific Ocean to Nebraska and from Canada to Texas. It influenced weather systems as far away as California, where a rare late-summer storm dropped rain on the northern part of the state, offering a measure of relief to wildfire crews but also complicating fire suppression efforts because of mud and loosened earth. (AP Photo / Peggy Fagerstrom)
Repair work begins in some Alaska towns slammed by storm

ANCHORAGE — There’s been significant damage to some roads and homes in… Continue reading

j
Sniffen indicted on sexual abuse counts

Sniffen will be arraigned Monday.

In this undated file photo the Trans-Alaska pipeline and pump station north of Fairbanks, Alaska is shown. (AP Photo / Al Grillo)
Oil price drop endangers plan to fund Alaska schools a year early

If oil prices fall, amount is automatically reduced to an amount the state can afford. At

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Juneau Police Department announces technology and reporting updates

Emergeny services and direct reporting will not be interrupted

The hoverfly can perceive electrical fields around the edges of the petals, the big white stigma, and the stamens. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: Electric flowers and platform plants

You cannot see it, it’s electric.

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022

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

Most Read