A graphic shows employment by Alaska region and features the percent change in jobs from December 2020 to December 2021. (Graphic via February 2022 Alaska Economic Trends reports from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development)

A graphic shows employment by Alaska region and features the percent change in jobs from December 2020 to December 2021. (Graphic via February 2022 Alaska Economic Trends reports from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development)

Report: Alaska economy rebounding; inflation up

Prices in Alaska increased by 4.9% in 2021

While the economy has rebounded slightly in urban Alaska since 2020, inflation last year was the highest it’s been in three decades, according to the February trends report from the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Prices in Alaska — everything from transportation to recreation and energy costs — increased by 4.9% in 2021, according to the report. That’s the highest annual inflation rate measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Alaska since 1990.

The first year of the pandemic prompted a huge disruption to local, national and international markets, and Alaska was no exception.

The economic trends report states that demand for goods and services “plummeted” in 2020, as did prices: Energy costs fell by 10.6%; transportation fell 6.8%.

But in 2021, the economy “began to rebound” and prices started to increase again, one of the most notable being the price of energy, the report said.

Compared to May 2020, May 2021 saw a near 26% increase in energy costs. Last year overall, energy costs rose 14.4% from 2020, which drove 16.9% inflation in transportation.

While forecasting economic trends “can be a fool’s errand,” some economic observers expect inflation to slow in 2022, Neal Fried, a researcher and analyst with the department, wrote in the report.

“The price of oil isn’t likely to rise much further — and supply chain issues work themselves out,” Fried wrote in the report. “However, others expect the opposite, that supply chain problems will persist and we’ll enter a period of higher inflation.”

Read the full report at https://labor.alaska.gov/trends/feb22.pdf.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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 13

Here’s what to expect this week.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wedesday, July 17, 2024

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

Cars arrive at Juneau International Airport on Thursday, July 11, 2024. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Juneau seems to have avoided major disruptions following global technology-related outage

911 centers, hospitals, airport, and public safety and emergency management agencies are operating.

People take photos of local dignitaries during the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Teal Street Center on Thursday afternoon. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Teal Street Center celebrates with ribbon-cutting a year after social agencies begin providing services

Nine organizations providing legal, disability, counseling and other help open under one roof.

Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. board chairman Ethan Schutt is seen during a special board meeting on Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, in Juneau. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Dunleavy reappoints Permanent Fund Corp. board chair Schutt after weeks of uncertainty

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has reappointed Ethan Schutt to a public seat on… Continue reading

Employees gather in front the historic Red Onion Saloon in Skagway, which will be taken over by Juneau restaurant owner Tracy LaBarge at the end of the summer tourism season. (Photo courtesy of the Red Onion Saloon)
Owner of Tracy’s King Crab Shack buys historic Red Onion Saloon in Skagway

Tracy LaBarge will take over the establishment after the 2024 summer tourism season

A memorial started on Front Street in downtown Juneau for 35-year-old Juneau resident Steven Kissack, who was experiencing homelessness, grows on Thursday with food donations and suicide hotline information. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire)
As the death investigation of Steven Kissack begins, special prosecution office explains its process

Reviews can be lengthy, information limited to ensure due process, Department of Law leaders say

In this screenshot from a streamed court hearing, Attorney Thekla Hansen-Young (bottom right) speaks in front of a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on July 18, 2024, in San Francisco. (Screenshot)
Federal appeals court appears unlikely to halt Southeast Alaska king trolling for now

A lower-court order that could stop fishing has been placed on hold since last year.

Bulk food in Food Bank of Alaska’s Anchorage warehouse on April 21, 2023. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Most Read