Alaska is expected to continue losing jobs in 2018 for the third year in a row, but the losses appear to be tapering, according to a new economic forecast.
Job counts in Alaska’s oil and gas, state government, construction and professional and business services are stabilizing after taking huge hits in the first couple years of the current state recession, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, in a new report.
Total employment is predicted to drop by 0.5 percent, or 1,800 jobs, this year, the department said.
Alaska has been in a recession since late 2015, after oil prices tanked and a multibillion-dollar state budget shortfall ensued. Revenues from oil made up 90 percent of the state's unrestricted general fund revenue for many years.
The biggest hit in this downturn came in 2016, when the state shed 6,300 jobs, according to the labor department. In 2017, Alaska lost an estimated 3,600 jobs.
"Losses are slowing, but recovery will depend on a long-term budget solution," the labor department's report said.
Statewide, nearly every industry is expected to have some amount of job losses this year. Alaska's oil and gas sector — which lost 2,900 jobs in 2016 and an estimated 1,500 last year — is expected to lose another 500 jobs in 2018, the forecast said.