Alaska Economic Report

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Alaska Economic Report is a weekly look at the trends, policies and issues that impact your wallet in Alaska. From local businesses, to fiscal policy to big industries like fishing, tourism and oil & gas, we cover the high-stakes economic issues that matter to Alaskans all over the state.

Hosted by:
Michael Fanelli

Listen to Alaska Economic Report on KSKA FM 91.1 in Anchorage, AK.
Thursdays at 7:45 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 4:45 p.m.

a square building with a large black chimney with a sign that reads "Trident Seafoods"

3 seafood processors announce closures, selloffs following historic price collapse for Alaska fishing industry

Three major seafood processors in Alaska have announced plans to sell off their plants or temporarily close for the upcoming fishing seasons. Trident, Peter Pan Seafood Company and most recently OBI Seafoods – just last month – have all cited turbulent market conditions for their decisions.
A woman in a white dress shirt gives a presentation

Workforce woes? Invest in Anchorage’s quality of life, experts say

Anchorage’s economy has lots of positive signs and job growth ahead, but not enough people for its anticipated job openings.
A woman stands by a door

Reality TV crews bring economic boost to Petersburg, but many locals wonder if it’s worth it

In 2023, three reality TV shows and a documentary were shot in the remote Southeast town, a small windfall for many local businesses.
A woman smiles as she hands a brown bag to a customer

No longer a ‘bagel desert,’ new business is among several bringing bagels back to Anchorage

Wooden Spoons Alaska recently started selling New York-style bagels. Like her competitors in town, the owner often can't keep up with demand.
a harbor full of docked boats on a cloudy day

Alaska’s harbors grapple with rusty pilings and rising costs

The climbing price of docking a boat in harbors across the state has Alaskans questioning their future on the water.
Two people in jackets stand at the window of a food truck that reads "Devil's Hideaway"

Juneau’s Mendenhall Valley has a new year-round food truck park

Many Juneau restaurants rely on summer tourists, which can leave fewer options for locals in the winter.
Crowds of people walk past food trucks and vendors along a city street on a summer afternoon.

Alaska tourism industry expecting another strong year, led by cruise passengers

An Alaska tourism industry advocate expects last year’s record-breaking cruise passenger numbers to repeat in 2024.
the inside of a restaurant, with patrons sitting at tables

Fewer restaurant workers translates to lower profits for seafood processors

Worker shortages are driving restaurants to serve fewer tables. Some seafood processors say that’s hurting their bottom line.
Various Giftshops in downtown Anchorage

Anchorage small businesses see a strong holiday season, despite winter storm challenges

An industry advocate sees encouraging signs from holiday shopping, but says local businesses are still recovering from November’s snow storm closures.
several colorful posters with dollar figures hang on a large bulletin board

Ripping open the world of pull-tabs, Alaska’s most popular form of charitable gaming

All legal gaming in Alaska benefits nonprofits, and the most popular form, pull-tabs, is played at more than 1,000 locations statewide.
A cannabis plant grows indoors.

Alaska hemp producers sue state, saying new ban on products is illegal

Alaska recently banned hemp products with intoxicating THC. The hemp industry says its products are protected under federal law.
A man with orange waders takes a photo of a man holding a bag of crabs right in between two tubs filled with live crabs

Alaska crabbers get creative with pop-up sales, but industry’s fate uncertain

With the Bering Sea snow crab fishery closed for a second year, crabbers are trying to find ways to make up for lost income.
a Petersburg van crash memorial

A Petersburg family is trying to change Alaska’s workers’ comp laws in honor of their daughter

The family wants to hold employers more accountable for negligence, which could affect thousands of Alaskans working dangerous jobs.
Two people in hardhats and safety vests dig a trench.

Report says Alaska’s labor shortage isn’t going away, and employers need to do more to retain workers

State economist says as retention becomes increasingly difficult, good employers have an advantage. And technical trades are in high demand.
musicians

Census seeks sound evidence of music’s economic impact in Alaska

A group of independent musicians hopes their census will spark a new conversation on how best to support the state’s vibrant music scene.
A view of the tipping floor from the observation deck of waste services dumping waste onto the floor.

With new Anchorage waste center, city hopes to help residents minimize trash

The transfer station is a central point for the city’s garbage trucks and residents to dump trash, but also offers opportunities to divert landfill waste.

New AEDC president focused on making Anchorage more attractive to workers

Jenna Wright, the Anchorage Economic Development Corp.'s new head, says the city needs to become more desirable and affordable to workers.
a permanent fund seal in window

Alaska heading toward fiscal ‘brick wall’ that could force end to PFD formula debate

Alaskans are set to receive $1,312 payouts, but the Legislature still can’t agree on how to determine that number in the long term.
smoke stacks in the background of a forest, spewing gas into the air

Alaska politicians remain optimistic about AK LNG even as overseas market cools

Politicians are still confident in the pipeline project, even as a long timeline has export buyers looking for other options.
A woman in a bright neon hoodie operates a trash truck's mechanical arm, to pick up a recycling bin

A large increase in trash shipping costs in Southeast Alaska has leaders exploring solutions

Petersburg's new trash contract comes with a 34% price hike, which would pile onto the community's already sky-high living expenses.
a fishing boat

A salmon glut has sent prices plunging, and economists don’t know when they’ll recover

Processors recently announced a base price of just 50 cents per pound – the lowest price in decades, when adjusted for inflation.
A woman in a colorful patterned shirt sits at a desk.

Anchorage women-owned businesses form ‘Outdoor Alliance’ to help each other succeed

Women have been making inroads in the traditionally male-dominated industry, with female leaders apparently concentrated in Alaska.
A smiling woman holding a small package

A tough choice for Heather’s Choice: Anchorage company considers relocating to grow business

Heather’s Choice makes premium dehydrated meals for hikers or anyone on the go, and is continuing to grow its presence in the Lower 48.

Small exodus of doctors leaves Central Kenai Peninsula with recruitment rush, strains on care

“I’m extremely worried about my patients being able to find new primary care,” said Dr. Alexa Rodin, who's among the doctors leaving.
construction workers and machinery at a coastal construction site

Trident’s new processing plant in Unalaska will be the largest in North America

The plant will focus on automation, renewable energy and on 100% protein capture — being so efficient that not a scrap of fish is wasted.