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.

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.

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.
a town can be seen from an aerial view out of a plane

In the wake of canceled cruise stops, Valdez official says businesses should focus on in-state tourism

A local official said cruise lines have a history of abrupt cancellations, so tourism companies should cater to more reliable Alaskan visitors.
The Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage Alaska facility

Alaska’s natural gas shortage: How did we get here and what comes next?

Southcentral Alaska is facing a looming energy crisis as natural gas contracts are set to run out. Utilities aren’t sure how to replace it, but foreign imports seem likely.
three people getting off an airplane

Anchorage now has the third busiest cargo airport in the world, with plans for growth

Geographic advantage helped Anchorage's airport claim its new title. To keep growing, it needs to market the shape of the Earth.
Construction workers walk down a city street.

Statewide income in Alaska grew twice as fast as the U.S. last year, mostly because of PFDs

The state still has fewer jobs than pre-pandemic, but the job market is historically strong and inflation is beginning to ease.
cruise ship passengers in Juneau

Juneau is bracing for its busiest cruise season ever

Alaska's capital city is expecting 1.5 million tourists this summer, 30% more than pre-pandemic levels.
A woman in an orange sweater leaning against her car.

A small but growing group of EV owners in Alaska show electric cars can work in the frigid north

Amid a federal push to limit vehicle emissions, there is a small but fast growing community of electric car owners in Alaska. Drivers say modern EVs can handle the winter conditions just fine.
The sign for Alaska Pacific University stands in front of pine trees surrounded by snow.

APU professor finds when it comes to salary, majors matter more than colleges

Professor Dale Lehman built a model to analyze how much colleges contribute to their graduates’ earning potential. His conclusion? Not much.