• Alaska Snapshot: What's Happened to the Alaska Economy Since Oil Prices Dropped?

      Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-11-01)
      North Slope oil has paid for most of Alaska state government—and indirectly, a big share of local government—since the 1980s. It’s also been the backbone for much of Alaska’s economic growth over time. But today, a combination of declining oil production and sharply lower oil prices has left the state budget billions of dollars in the red and is reverberating throughout the economy. How has the big drop in oil prices affected the Alaska economy so far? This paper looks at that question, using changes in the number of jobs— statewide, and also by census area and sector—as a gauge. We look specifically at the period from March 2014, when oil prices were over $100 a barrel, through March 2016, when prices had dropped below $40. We use that period because right now reliable employment data are only available through the first quarter of 2016. Also, this is a broad look at job changes, not a detailed analysis of all the specific changes we found.