Alaska jobs haven’t bounced back as well as other states’

Dan Robinson, chief of research and analysis at the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, testifies at the state Capitol in 2019. (Gavel Alaska video still)

Alaska’s job losses weren’t as steep as the national average in April, but the state’s recovery is lagging behind nearly every other state. 

That’s one of the conclusions Alaska Department of Labor Research Chief Dan Robinson reached in an article in the department’s monthly Trends publication. Robinson looked at COVID-19 job losses for each state compared to the same month the year before. The pandemic’s impact on tourism is a big factor in why jobs in Alaska haven’t bounced back as high as other places.

“There  are four states that have worse job numbers than us in July, and all four of them had more leisure and hospitality job loss than we did, and (more than) the U.S. did in general,” Robinson said.

In the Lower 48, states with national parks recovered a portion of their tourism with the summer driving season. But, Robinson points out, cruise traffic to Alaska just stopped.

He predicts Alaska’s recovery will look comparatively better in October, when 2020 won’t be compared to a normal peak season.

From Trends, September 2020

Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent at Alaska Public Media. Reach her Read more about Lizhere.

Previous articleAs the school year begins, Alaska school administrators worry low enrollment could impact state funding
Next articleLISTEN: U.S. House incumbent Don Young is here to answer your questions