The following article is an excellent overview look at the key factors of Alaska’s economy, taking apart the employment sectors and dissecting the parts of the Alaska State budget. It was was printed in the January issue of Alaska Business magazine. The authors are Mouhcine Guettabi, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Alaska Anchorage Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), and Gunnar Knapp, the director at ISER.
In this article we review recent trends in Alaska’s economy and the economic outlook for the near-term and longerterm future. We begin with a brief description of the structure of Alaska’s economy and key factors that drive it. Next we review historical trends in the economy. We then discuss factors likely to affect the economy in the near-term future, including the dramatic decline in oil prices and state oil revenues and the state’s response to the resulting very large deficits. Finally, we discuss the longer-term outlook for the Alaska economy, including the potential economic
impacts of an LNG (liquefied natural gas) export project.
Alaska’s economy is complicated. In this brief article we have to omit important details due to lack of space. In particular, we do not address regional variation in the economy, which is significant, or the significant changes occurring in many industries.
Alaska’s future economic outlook is uncertain. We can’t predict with certainty the combined effects of the many factors which may affect it. Our primary goal is to describe potential implications of factors which we know will affect it.