AEDC February 2012 Employment Report
The unemployment rate in Anchorage is averaging 5.9 percent so far in 2012, based on data provided by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. This is 0.8 percentage points less than the same time last year. In 2011, we saw the unemployment rate decline pretty steadily all year, but what was so exciting about the decrease in 2011 is that it happened in the face of a growing labor force. So far in 2012 this isn’t the same case. Unemployment is down, but our labor force is also down about 1,360 people. It’s a little early in the year for this to be a cause for concern, but it is something to keep an eye out for.
Services Producing Jobs
Services producing jobs in Anchorage (engineering, retail, tourism, healthcare, etc.) are up in 2012 compared to 2011 by 1,200 jobs or 0.87 percent. The sectors seeing the most growth are leisure and hospitality (up 550), transportation (up 450) and healthcare (up 700).
Goods Producing Jobs
Goods producing jobs which are construction work, mining and oil & gas production (those jobs that are specifically tied to production, not those that support the production or maintenance of the production jobs) are up 350 jobs or 3.11 percent comparing 2012 to 2011. Manufacturing, which saw a small growth last year is continuing to see growth in 2012. So far in 2012, manufacturing is up by 250 jobs or 14.29 percent. Construction saw a decrease is 2011, and so far in 2012 its showing signs of another slow year 14.29% (down 150 jobs or 2.24 percent).
Preliminary numbers for Anchorage’s employment show an average increase of 1,550 jobs for 2012 vs. 2011, with a month-tomonth (Feb. 12 vs. Feb. 11) comparison showing an increase of 1,800 jobs. This is a strong start to the year and is being fueled by the continued growth from the health care, transportation and leisure and hospitality industries.
Health Care Employment
In January, AEDC predicted a growth for 2012 of 700 healthcare jobs. So far in 2012, health care is averaging 700 more jobs than the same time in 2011. This is an increase of about 4.1 percent. Health care has been a monster growth sector for Anchorage over the past couple years and hasn’t shown signs of slowing yet.
Professional & Business Services
Professional and Business Services are part of the services side of the jobs equation. (Total jobs= Goods + Services) In January, AEDC predicted that this sector would grow by 150 jobs. So far 2012 is averaging a growth of about 200 jobs or 1.93 percent.
AEDC predicted an increase of 100 jobs in transportation for 2012. The year has started out with a boom averaging about 450 more jobs than in 2011. This is a major growth and could be the subject of a revision later in the year. However, it is very exciting to see this sector off to such a good start considering it has taken some hits in recent years.