Alaska Economy

Economy of Alaska

The economy of a country basically includes the money it brings in by providing something which rest of the countries of the world wants to buy.  In 1959 when Alaska was declared as a state, its economy was almost dependent on the government of United States and rest of the balance was made up by commercial fishing, lumbering and limited gold & gravel mining. In 1970s with the development of petroleum industry this situation got improved. And in 1977 with the construction of Trans- Alaska pipeline, there was a gradual increase in the income and also the number of people in the Alaska. The Alaska had only very little agriculture.  Green house and dairy products were the most valuable farm products of Alaska.

 Some of the most important practices which contributed a lot towards Alaska’s economy are:

Alaska Fishing

Among the 50 states of United States, Alaska’s fishing is the most valuable one. And according to the recent study report submitted to the state Legislature, fishing or the commercial fisheries are the main drivers of Alaska’s economy. The fisheries industry accounts for about 25,000 full time jobs which included fish harvesting and processing, and about 11,000 employers in the peripheral sector of commercial fishery. Among the total employers 11,000 are Alaskan natives. Alaska’s most important commercial fishing ports are located at Kodiak and Unalaska or Dutch Harbor. During the 1980s, commercial fishing produced about one billion pounds of products and thus the Fishing industry ranked second just behind the petroleum sector. The fishes mostly caught are cod, flounder, Pollock, salmon, rockfish and sable fish. Apart from fish other sea foods included are king crab, Dungeness crab, snow crab, shrimp, scallops, sea urchins and herring eggs.

Alaska Agriculture

Agriculture of Alaska was clustered an area of 880,000 acre situated in the northeast of Alaska at Matanuska Valley. The agricultural production mainly aimed at consumption for people within the state. Agriculture includes three main practices. They are raising of live stock, cultivating the soil & crop production. But this altogether constituted only a fraction towards the Alaska’s economy. Raising live stock helped in producing the most valuable products like eggs, milk, beef cattle. Alaskans also raised chicken, lamp and sheep. Raising of live stock also included reindeer hunting and fur farming. Even though there were many tillable lands available for crop production in Alaska only very few among them were used for production. The crop production firm was so under developed so most of the food products were imported to the country. The most important crops grown in Alaska are potatoes, hay and barley.

Alaska Mining

The Alaska’s mineral wealth mainly included its oil deposits. About 95% of the mining income comes from oil deposits and thus have attracted the world’s attention. Vast reserves of oil and natural gases were discovered in 1968 near Prudhoe Bay located in the northern slope of Alaska. The petroleum reserve of this place had twice the size of any other reservoirs of Northern America. A 1977, Trans-Alaska pipe line which measured about 1,287 km was held between the Northern slope and the ice-free port of Valdez. In 1977, a fund namely The Alaska Permanent Fund was created to provide the Alaska with the income after the oil reserves has depleted and the dividends are paid to all the residents. This fund receives 25 % oil royalty income Alaska. In 1980s the collapse of oil price affected the Alaska’s economy a lot and there was severe problem of unemployment. 1n 1990s the state started recovering and the problem of unemployment was also reduced to a great extend. Other products mined in Alaska are gold, copper, tin, mercury, coal, platinum, zinc and molybdenum. In 1990s, the gold mining was led to a settlement and thus no longer mined in quality.

Alaska Tourism

In 2003 tourism brought about $ 1.5 billion to the state and this constituted 5% of Alaska’s gross state product. It was estimated that in 2003 about 1.4 billion tourists visited Alaska. Over 25,000 jobs were generated through tourism but most of them were of low payment. The most important tourist destination is the Denali National Park. It was after the improvement in transport facilities that the tourism developed so well.

Alaska Services

Government services which include general, federal and local forms were one of the major sources of employment in Alaska. Other services include hospitals, educational institutions and military.

The Alaska’s gross product in 2007 was $ 44.9 billion and was ranked 45th position in the United States. In this year the per capita personal income was $ 40,042, and was ranked 15th in the nation. Thus to conclude, oil and gas industry contributed the most towards Alaska’s economy. About 80 % of Alaska’s revenues were derived from extraction of petroleum. Apart from oil and gas, Alaska’s main export products were sea foods especially salmon, cod and pollock. The contribution of agriculture towards the Alaska’s economy was very less and mainly aimed at consumption within the state. Manufacturing process were not so successful in Alaska and most of the goods were exported from outside.

Natural Gas in Alaska

Share of total US gas consumption (percentage)
Use 2001 2002 2003 2004 2004 2006
Residential 0.35 0.33 0.33 0.37 0.37 0.47
Commercial 0.52 0.50 0.54 0.59 0.56 0.65
Industrial 0.92 0.88 0.58 0.65 0.80 0.58
Vehicle Fuel 0.09 0.08 0.09 0.09 0.17 0.17
Electric Power 0.61 0.56 0.67 0.69 0.67 0.70

Economy at a Glance of Alaska

Data Series Dec
2009
Jan
2010
Feb
2010
Mar
2010
Apr
2010
May
2010
Labor Force Data
Civilian Labor Force 362.3 362.9 363.8 365.1 366.1 (P) 365.7
Employment 331.3 332.1 333.0 333.9 335.5 (P) 335.5
Unemployment 31.0 30.8 30.8 31.2 30.6 (P) 30.2
Unemployment Rate 8.6 8.5 8.5 8.5 8.4 (P) 8.3
Nonfarm Wage and Salary Employment
Total Nonfarm 321.5 326.5 326.2 326.5 322.9 (P) 322.9
12-month % change -0.6 1.2 1.2 1.7 0.4 (P) 1.5
Mining and Logging 14.7 14.7 15.2 15.5 15.6 (P) 17.3
12-month % change -9.3 -7.0 -3.8 -1.3 0.6 (P) 11.6
Construction 15.7 16.0 16.5 16.2 16.5 (P) 16.7
12-month % change -6.0 -4.2 -1.2 -1.8 1.9 (P) 2.5
Manufacturing 12.2 15.1 15.2 15.0 13.3 (P) 15.1
12-month % change -5.4 17.1 16.9 14.5 0.0 (P) 18.0
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 63.5 64.3 64.8 64.5 63.7 (P) 63.2
12-month % change -1.6 0.3 1.7 1.6 0.2 (P) 0.5
Information 6.4 6.5 6.5 6.5 6.3 (P) 6.4
12-month % change -8.6 -4.4 -4.4 -4.4 -6.0 (P) -3.0
Financial Activities 14.6 14.5 14.3 14.1 14.2 (P) 13.9
12-month % change -0.7 -1.4 -2.7 -3.4 -3.4 (P) -4.8
Professional & Business Services 25.7 25.2 24.8 24.8 24.5 (P) 24.0
12-month % change -4.1 -6.0 -7.1 -6.4 -5.8 (P) -8.0
Education & Health Services 39.8 40.4 40.3 40.3 39.9 (P) 39.9
12-month % change 3.9 5.5 5.2 5.2 3.4 (P) 3.1
Leisure & Hospitality 32.8 32.6 31.8 31.8 32.4 (P) 31.5
12-month % change 2.8 3.2 0.3 1.0 4.2 (P) 0.6
Other Services 11.5 11.8 11.4 11.2 11.2 (P) 11.0
12-month % change 1.8 3.5 0.0 -0.9 -2.6 (P) -4.3
Government 84.6 85.4 85.4 86.6 85.3 (P) 83.9
12-month % change 1.8 2.4 2.4 3.8 1.2 (P) 2.7
Mass Layoffs
Layoff events, all industries 7 9 3 - 11 11
Initial claimants, all industries 650 713 267 - 1,252 1,259

Alaska Economics Statistics

Employment 319,209
Gross State Product > Current Dollars $33,876,000,000.00
Median Earnings for Male Full-Time, Year-Round Workers $47,115.00
Median Family Income $66,254.00
Median Household Income $57,027.00
Nest Egg Index 103.46
Percent below poverty level 8.2%
Percent of Children Below Poverty Level 11.2 %
Percent of Households With Retirement Income 17.3 %
Percent of People 65 Years and Over Below Poverty Level 3.4 %
Percent of Related Children Below Poverty Level 10.4 %
Personal income $23,714,000,000.00
Total tax burden $1,338,707,000.00
    Total tax burden (per capita) $2,034.51
Unemployment 23,923
Unemployment rate 7%
Welfare Caseloads > Percent change in total families -14%
Welfare Caseloads > Percent change in total recipients -16.2%
Welfare Caseloads > Total families 5,548
Welfare Caseloads > Total recipients 15,927

Alaska Empoyment Status

Empoyment Status
Population 16 years and over 458,054 100.0
In labor force 326,596 71.3
Civilian labor force 309,485 67.6
Employed 281,532 61.5
Unemployed 27,953 6.1
Percent of civilian labor force 9.0 (X)
Armed Forces 17,111 3.7
Not in labor force 131,458 28.7
Females 16 years and over 220,694 100.0
In labor force 145,422 65.9
Civilian labor force 142,890 64.7
Employed 132,498 60.0
Own children under 6 years 54,369 100.0
All parents in family in labor force 32,463 59.7
Commuting To Work
Workers 16 years and over 290,597 100.0
Car, truck, or van -- drove alone 193,165 66.5
Car, truck, or van -- carpooled 45,012 15.5
Public transportation (including taxicab) 5,236 1.8
Walked 21,298 7.3
Other means 13,908 4.8
Worked at home 11,978 4.1
Mean travel time to work (minutes) 19.6 (X)
Employed civilian population 16 years and over 281,532 100.0
Occupation
Management, professional, and related occupations 96,839 34.4
Service occupations 43,940 15.6
Sales and office occupations 73,550 26.1
Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations 4,168 1.5
Construction, extraction, and maintenance occupations 32,702 11.6
Production, transportation, and material moving occupations 30,333 10.8
Industry
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining 13,774 4.9
Construction 20,534 7.3
Manufacturing 9,220 3.3
Wholesale trade 7,215 2.6
Retail trade 32,638 11.6
Transportation and warehousing, and utilities 25,043 8.9
Information 7,652 2.7
Finance, insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing 12,934 4.6
Professional, scientific, management, administrative, and waste management services 21,322 7.6
Educational, health and social services 61,165 21.7
Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services 24,099 8.6
Other services (except public administration) 15,866 5.6
Public administration 30,070 10.7
Class Of Worker
Private wage and salary workers 182,840 64.9
Government workers 75,330 26.8
Self-employed workers in own not incorporated business 22,520 8.0
Unpaid family workers 842 0.3
Income in 1999
Households 221,804 100.0
Less than $10,000 12,458 5.6
$10,000 to $14,999 10,995 5.0
$15,000 to $24,999 22,917 10.3
$25,000 to $34,999 25,025 11.3
$35,000 to $49,999 35,519 16.0
$50,000 to $74,999 48,912 22.1
$75,000 to $99,999 30,371 13.7
$100,000 to $149,999 25,381 11.4
$150,000 to $199,999 6,078 2.7
$200,000 or more 4,148 1.9
Median household income (dollars) 51,571 (X)
With earnings 198,600 89.5
Mean earnings (dollars) 57,171 (X)
With Social Security income 30,282 13.7
Mean Social Security income (dollars) 10,273 (X)
With Supplemental Security Income 6,854 3.1
Mean Supplemental Security Income (dollars) 6,259 (X)
With public assistance income 19,230 8.7
Mean public assistance income (dollars) 4,436 (X)
With retirement income 32,555 14.7
Mean retirement income (dollars) 21,037 (X)
Families 153,611 100.0
Less than $10,000 5,664 3.7
$10,000 to $14,999 5,097 3.3
$15,000 to $24,999 13,452 8.8
$25,000 to $34,999 15,330 10.0
$35,000 to $49,999 23,197 15.1
$50,000 to $74,999 36,299 23.6
$75,000 to $99,999 24,825 16.2
$100,000 to $149,999 21,267 13.8
$150,000 to $199,999 5,104 3.3
$200,000 or more 3,376 2.2
Median family income (dollars) 59,036 (X)
Per capita income (dollars) 22,660 (X)

Median earnings (dollars):

   
Male full-time, year-round workers 41,257 (X)
Female full-time, year-round workers 31,151 (X)
Poverty Status in 1999 (below poverty level)
Families 10,270 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 6.7
With related children under 18 years 8,812 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 9.3
With related children under 5 years 4,854 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 13.4
Families with female householder, no husband present 4,686 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 20.0
With related children under 18 years 4,407 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 23.7
With related children under 5 years 2,428 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 35.8
Individuals 57,602 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 9.4
18 years and over 35,561 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 8.3
65 years and over 2,330 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 6.8
Related children under 18 years 20,792 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 11.2
Related children 5 to 17 years 14,298 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 10.3
Unrelated individuals 15 years and over 20,113 (X)
Percent below poverty level (X) 18.3

Alaska Travel Guide