• 2013 Alaska's Construction Spending Forecast

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013-02)
      The Construction Industry Progress Fund (CIPF) and the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Alaska are pleased to have produced another edition of “Alaska’s Construction Spending Forecast.” Compiled and written by Scott Goldsmith and Mouhcine Guettabi of the University of Alaska’s Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), the “Forecast” reviews construction activity, projects and spending by both the private and public sectors for the year ahead. The construction trade is Alaska’s third largest industry, paying the second highest wages, employing nearly 16,000 workers with a payroll over $1 billion. It accounts for 20 percent of Alaska’s total economy and currently contributes approximately $8 billion to the state’s economy. The construction industry reflects the pulse of the economy. When it is vigorous, so is the state’s economy. Both CIPF and AGC are proud to make this publication available annually and hope it provides useful information for you. AGC is a non-profit, full service construction association for commercial and industrial contractors, subcontractors and associates. CIPF is organized to advance the interests of the construction industry throughout the state of Alaska through a management and labor partnership.
    • Alaska Employer Health-Care Benefits: A Survey of Alaska Employers

      Guettabi, Mouhcine; Frazier, Rosyland; Knapp, Gunnar (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-10)
      The majority of Alaskans and Americans who have health insurance coverage get it through an employer—either their own employer or the employer of a family member. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 55.4% of all Alaskans got health insurance through an employer in 2012—and 68.4% of those with health insurance got it through an employer. But those census estimates also suggest that the share of Alaskans and other Americans who get health insurance from their employers has been gradually declining (Figures I-1a and I-1b). Figure I-1a. Figure I-1b. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Health Insurance Historical Tables-HIB Series, Table HIB-4: Health Insurance Coverage Status and Type of Coverage by State--All Persons: 1999 to 2012, http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/hlthins/data/historical/HIB_tables.html. Because employer-sponsored insurance is so important to Alaskans, the Alaska Health Care Commission sponsored a survey of businesses, local governments, and school districts statewide, asking whether they offer employees insurance or other health benefits, which employees are eligible, and what types of plans and rates they offer.
    • 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.
    • Alaska Veterans Needs Assessment

      Guettabi, Mouhcine; Frazier, Rosyland (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-10-01)
      The Institute of Social of Economic Research conducted a needs assessment of Alaska Veterans starting in the spring of 2014. Our goal was to identify and measure areas for improvement in providing services and determining the methods to achieve improvement. Our approach consisted of three methods: ‐ Survey of Alaska veterans using a list of 2,950 veterans who have requested veteran designation on their driver’s license. ‐ Focus groups: one consisting of women and one of disabled veterans. ‐ Key informant interviews with individuals responsible for helping veterans navigate the benefits available to them. Our findings are far ranging and details can be found in the report below. One of the most important lessons was the difference in needs across age groups. Younger veterans were concerned about education and employment while their older counterparts valued health care and navigating the application process. Consistent with these differences, the focus groups made it clear that targeted reminders that take into account the veteran’s life stage may be more effective. As things stand, the amount of information one is exposed to at separation can be overwhelming and intimidating. Awareness and use of federal benefits was high for health care, housing, and education benefits. Employment services were less utilized but most of our respondents were aware of their existence (Table 19). Across the board, lack of knowledge/awareness of specific benefits does not seem to be systemic. The three most claimed benefits were Health Care, Disability Compensation, Home Loans, and Education and Training. At the state level, the most commonly claimed benefits by the survey respondents are the veteran driver’s license, veterans license plates, hunting and fishing licenses, property exemption, education benefits, and veterans housing and residential loans. Of note is that only 9% claimed Veteran employment services and awareness about state benefits seems to be more of an issue than in the federal case. A third of our respondents had a disability rating of 50% or higher. Disability payments are very important across the board but seem to be essential for veterans with higher disability ratings. These payments were also more important to younger veterans who potentially have had less time to accumulate savings over their lifetime. Health care use is very much associated with age as older respondents were more likely to have applied for Health Care Services. Additionally, disability rating is also associated with frequency of health care use and utilization of VA services. Thirty percent of our respondents think they will use VA as their primary source of healthcare.Younger veterans are considerably more likely to use education benefits. The majority of our respondents used education benefits after active duty. However, more than ten percent have used education benefits both before and after and another seven percent used them only during active service. When asked about living arrangements in case a veteran could not care for themselves, it was clear that proximity to friends and family was paramount. Anchorage was chosen as the location most of them would prefer.
    • Alaska's economy and the pandemic

      Guettabi, Mouhcine (2020-06-30)
      The Alaska economy has emerged from its longest recession in 2019. The decline in economic activity and government revenues was due to the severe decline in oil prices which resulted in deep spending cuts and significant private sector job losses. The current pandemic has resulted in a significant shock to all facets of the Alaska economy. In this paper, we provide a little bit of background on the Alaska economy, present new high frequency data to asses the extent of the current damage, and then present a forecast for the next 6, 12, and 18 months. In 2020, we anticipate the economy to end the year with almost 25,000 fewer jobs than in 2019. The decrease would represent a 7.4% relative to the previous year. In 2021, we expect the economy to slowly start regaining the jobs lost the previous year and grow at a rate of 2.2%. In 2022, we anticipate a continuing climb for the economy as it is expected to grow at 1.1% percent. By the end of 2022, the Alaska economy should be at about 95% of the pre-pandemic levels. It is important to note there are significant downside risks which could negatively influence the employment outlook.
    • Alaska’s economy and the COVID-19 virus

      Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2020-03-27)
      The Alaska economy, similar to the rest of the world, will contract over the next few weeks and months due to the COVID-19 virus that has forced businesses to close or significantly curtail operations. While it is near impossible to identify the true economic consequences of these measures, we make educated assumptions about the size of the layoffs in the most vulnerable sectors. To get the full scale of the potential losses, we estimate multiplier effects from these losses using an input output model. Layoffs in the directly affected sector could exceed 27,000 with a payroll of almost 80 million dollars in the month of April. The indirect and induced effects of this shock could result in another 21,000 jobs lost if the employment separations are not temporary. In the second quarter of 2020, direct GDP losses due to the decline in economic activity -not including declines in oil prices- could amount to almost 2 billion dollars. If the disruption in economic activity is not short-lived, we could expect another 2 billion dollars in losses due to the indirect and induced effects. The significant Federal aid package which will provide a boost to unemployment insurance, direct transfers to households, and aid to businesses will certainly dampen some of the consequences we estimate. While the short term costs of social distancing are high, Alaska’s long term economic health depends on first containing the virus.
    • Analysis of Alaska Transportation Sectors to Assess Energy Use and Impacts of Price Shocks and Climate Change Legislation

      Fay, Ginny; Schwörer, Tobias; Guettabi, Mouhcine; Armagost, Jeffrey (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013-04)
      We analyzed the use of energy by Alaska’s transportation sectors to assess the impact of sudden fuel prices changes. We conducted three types of analysis: 1) Development of broad energy use statistics for each transportation sector, including total annual energy and fuel use, carbon emissions, fuel use per ton-mile and passenger-mile, and cost of fuel per ton-mile and passenger-mile. 2) Economic input-output analysis of air, rail, truck, and water transportation sectors. 3) Adjustment of input-output modeling to reflect sudden fuel price changes to estimate the potential impact on industry output and employment. Alaska air transportation used approximately 1.9 billion gallons of fuel annually; 961 million gallons were used for intra-state and exiting Alaska flights. Water transportation used 101.8 million gallons annually, approximately 84.3 million gallons for intra-state and exiting segments. Railroad and truck transportation used 5.1 and 8.8 million gallons annually, respectively. Simulated fuel price increases resulted in an estimated $456.8 million in value-added losses to the Alaska economy through the increase in cost of transportation services, as well as an equivalent loss in income to Alaska household of $26.8 million. A carbon emissions tax would have the greatest impact on the cost of air transportation services followed by water, trucking and rail.
    • Cancer Control Continuum Gap Analysis: Inventory of Current Policy and Environmental Strategies

      Frazier, Rosyland; Guettabi, Mouhcine; Cueva, Katie (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013)
      "Comprehensive cancer control (CCC) is a process through which communities and partner organizations pool resources to reduce the burden of cancer. These combined efforts help to reduce cancer risk, find cancers earlier, improve treatments, and increase the number of people who survive cancer. ”This analysis has explored both current policies that have been enacted in Alaska at the state and federal level, and those that are acknowledged at a national level. The gap analysis is designed to inform the State DHSS as it takes steps to develop a policy agenda for comprehensive cancer control that aims to; reduce the risk of developing cancer, identify cancer earlier, improve cancer treatment, and increase the number of cancer survivors."
    • The Cost of SBIRT Implementation in Mat-Su Primary Care Practices

      Tran, Trang C.; Guettabi, Mouhcine; Frazier, Rosyland; King, Diane; Zold, Amanda (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska, 2018)
      The purpose of this report is to calculate the cost of alcohol Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) in three primary care practices located in the Matanuska-Susitna area. Using Fleming et al. (2000)’s benefit-cost ratio of screening and brief physician advice in managed care settings, we estimated the dollar benefits potentially generated by SBIRT services.
    • Current and Future Medical Costs of Childhood Obesity in Alaska

      Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-04)
      This study examines the medical costs of childhood obesity in Alaska, today and in the future. We estimate that 15.2% of those ages 2 to 19 in Alaska are obese. Using parameters from published reports and studies, we estimate that the total excess medical costs due to obesity for both adults and children in Alaska in 2012 were $226 million, with medical costs of obese children and adolescents accounting for about $7 million of that total. And those medical costs will get much higher over time, as today’s children transition into adulthood. Aside from the 15.2% currently obese, another estimated 20% of children who aren’t currently obese will become obese as adults, if current national patterns continue. We estimate that the 20-year medical costs—discounted to present value—of obesity among the current cohort of Alaska children and adolescents will be $624 million in today’s dollars. But those future costs could be decreased if Alaskans found ways to reduce obesity. We consider how reducing obesity in several ways could reduce future medical costs: reducing current rates of childhood obesity, rates of obese children who become obese adults, or rates of non-obese children and adolescents who become obese adults. We undertake modest reductions to showcase the potential cost savings associated with each of these channels. Clearly the financial\ savings are a direct function of the obesity reductions and therefore the magnitude of the realized savings will vary accordingly. Also keep in mind that these figures are only for the current cohort of children and adolescents; over time more generations of Alaskans will grow from children into adults, repeating the same cycle unless rates of obesity decline. And finally, remember that medical costs are only part of the broader range of social and economic costs obesity creates.
    • The economic impact of the Liberty Oil Project A focus on employment and wages during the construction phase

      Loeffler, Bob; Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2017-11-01)
      We analyze the employment and wages effects that will stem from the construction phase of the Liberty project in Alaska. These economic impacts were generated using inputs provided by Hilcorp. We used a standard input output model –IMPLAN– to estimate the ripple effects from the employment and wages directly associated with the project. We find the following:  - Direct employment peaks in 2020 at around 300 annualized jobs.  - Direct wages also peak in 2020 at 40 million dollars.  - Total direct employment from 2017 to 2023 is 1,019 jobs.  - Total direct wages from 2017 to 2023 are about 141 million dollars.  - Total direct wages including benefits and burdens are about 201 million dollars. 1  - The total employment- including direct, indirect, and induced- from the Liberty project between 2017 and 2023 is expected to be close 2,700.  - The total wages-indirect and induced- in 2017 dollars from the construction phase add up to 247 million dollars.  - Our results focus on the onsite construction phase of the project and therefore only provide a partial picture of the full range of effects. For example, prolonging the life of the pipeline has broad effects on revenues and employment that we do not try to address.  - We also do not look at the engineering and construction and transportation of drilling and production facilities, of which some portion may be constructed in Alaska.
    • Economic Impacts of the Vetoes on the Alaska Economy

      Guettabi, Mouhcine; Klouda, Nolan (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2019-07-08)
      On June 28, 2019 Governor Mike Dunleavy announced line-item vetoes totaling $409 million from the State of Alaska budget for Fiscal Year 2020. These vetoes include significant cuts to the University of Alaska, Medicaid, payments to local governments, public assistance programs, state personnel headcounts, and numerous other categories. The full consequences of these cuts on the state economy, fiscal health, population, and policy outcomes will take years to develop. In this paper, we provide the short term impacts of the cuts, how they interact with the current state of the economy, and a descriptive outlook of the some of the future effects. We find the cuts will result in more than 4,000 jobs lost in the short run and will therefore return the Alaska economy into recession. While the short term losses represent a considerable negative shock to the economy, the consequences of these cuts on long term development could be even more pronounced.
    • Economic Impacts of the Vetoes on the Alaska Economy

      Guettabi, Mouhcine; Klouda, Nolan (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 7/8/2019)
      On June 28, 2019 Governor Mike Dunleavy announced line-item vetoes totaling $409 million from the State of Alaska budget for Fiscal Year 2020. These vetoes include significant cuts to the University of Alaska, Medicaid, payments to local governments, public assistance programs, state personnel headcounts, and numerous other categories. The full consequences of these cuts on the state economy, fiscal health, population, and policy outcomes will take years to develop. In this paper, we provide the short term impacts of the cuts, how they interact with the current state of the economy, and a descriptive outlook of the some of the future effects. We find the cuts will result in more than 4,000 jobs lost in the short run and will therefore return the Alaska economy into recession. While the short term losses represent a considerable negative shock to the economy, the consequences of these cuts on long term development could be even more pronounced.
    • The Economic Importance of the Bristol Bay Salmon Industry

      Knapp, Gunnar; Guettabi, Mouhcine; Goldsmith, Oliver Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013-04)
      By any measure, the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery is very large and valuable. It is the world’s most valuable wild salmon fishery, and typically supplies almost half of the world’s wild sockeye salmon. In 2010, harvesting, processing, and retailing Bristol Bay salmon and the multiplier effects of these activities created $1.5 billion in output or sales value across the United States. In 2010, Bristol Bay salmon fishermen harvested 29 million sockeye salmon worth $165 million in direct harvest value alone. That represented 31% of the total Alaska salmon harvest value, and was greater than the total value of fish harvests in 41 states. Salmon processing in Bristol Bay increased the value by $225 million, for a total first wholesale value after processing of $390 million. The total value of Bristol Bay salmon product exports in 2010 was about $250 million, or about 6% of the total value of all U.S. seafood exports. In 2010, the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery supported 12,000 fishing and processing jobs during the summer salmon fishing season. Measuring these as year-round jobs, and adding jobs created in other industries, the Bristol Bay salmon fishery created the equivalent of almost 10,000 year-round American jobs across the country, and brought Americans $500 million in income. For every dollar of direct output value created in Bristol Bay fishing and processing, more than two additional dollars of output value are created in other industries, as payments from the Bristol Bay fishery ripple through the economy. These payments create almost three jobs for every direct job in Bristol Bay fishing and processing. United States domestic consumption of Bristol Bay frozen sockeye salmon products has been growing over time as a result of sustained and effective marketing by the industry, new product development and other factors. This growth is likely to continue over time, which will result in even greater output value figures for the industry’s economic impacts across the U.S. The economic importance of the Bristol Bay salmon industry extends far beyond Alaska, particularly to the West Coast states of Washington, Oregon and California.
    • Evaluating Differences in Household Subsistence Harvest Patterns between the Ambler Project and Non-Project Zones

      Guettabi, Mouhcine; Greenberg, Joshua; Little, Joseph; Joly, Kyle (National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior, 2016-08-01)
      Western Alaska is one of largest inhabited, roadless areas in North America and, indeed, the world. Access, via a new road that would transverse Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve (GAAR), to a mining district in a vast roadless section of northwest Alaska has been proposed. Given the potential effects of the road on nearby communities, we analyzed how communities connected to the road system compare to their unconnected counterparts. Specifically, using zero inflated negative binomial models, we analyzed subsistence harvest data to understand factors that influence subsistence production at the household level. We found substantial difference in these factors between communities near the proposed road (project zone (PZ) communities and a comparable set of road accessible communities outside the region, and were affected by household characteristics such as the gender of the head of household, number of children, and income. Total subsistence production of project zone communities was 1.8 – 2.5 times greater than that of non-project zone communities. Communities with a higher percentage of Alaska Native residents had greater per capita subsistence harvests. Higher household income levels were associated with lower subsistence harvest levels. Roads can provide access for hunters from outside the region to traditional subsistence hunting grounds used by local residents that would not be very accessible if not for the road. Our proxy for competition (number of nonlocal moose hunters) indicates that resident moose harvest amounts are inversely related to the number of hunters in a particular area. If subsistence harvest patterns for project zone communities currently off the road changed to mirror existing non-project zone harvests due to the road, the financial cost would be USD $6,900 – 10,500 per household per year (assuming an $8/lb. ‘replacement’ cost for subsistence harvests). This represents about 33% of the median household income. Taken together, our results suggest that the proposed road should be expected to substantially impact subsistence production in communities that are not currently connected to the road system. The scale of our data did not allow for the comparison of the impacts of the different proposed routes but the impacts of different routes is likely minor in relation to the presence or absence of the proposed road
    • FASD Costs: Evidence from Hawaii Medicaid Data

      Hanson, Bridget; Porter, Rebecca; Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2019)
      Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), a collection of permanent yet preventable developmental disabilities and birth defects resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure, are associated with substantial costs. We use information from Hawaii Medicaid data for individuals who have at least one FASD-related condition. The total spending for these individuals between 2011 and 2015 was $460,515,584. Of that total, more than $32 million is directly associated with FASD-related visits/codes. We find that the average FASD-related visit costs $121, which is more expensive than the average medicaid visit. We also find that the frequency of FASD-related visits increases with age. We find evidence that the number of initial conditions is positively associated with the number of visits and accumulated medical costs and that 20% of the patients are responsible for 85.85% of the total spending. This paper was supported by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cooperative Agreement 5NU01DD001143.
    • How do oil prices influence Alaska and other energy-dependent states?

      Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska, 2018)
      We analyze monthly data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics to evaluate how fluctuations in oil prices affect economic activity in Alaska and other energy-dependent states. For this most recent recession, we find that only 6 of the traditional oil states experienced a recession. Four of those have already recovered, leaving Alaska and North Dakota as the only two to continue losing jobs. Using monthly employment data between 1991 and 2018 we estimate that, on average, the long run effect of a 10% change in oil prices results in a 1.7% change in employment across the five most important oil states. When analyzed individually, we find that some of them experience symmetric responses to oil price increases and decreases while others are much more sensitive to price declines.
    • How Does Alaska's Spending Compare?

      Leask, Linda; Tran, Trang; Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2018-02-01)
      A laskans have been arguing for years about how much the state government should be spending, ever since low oil prices gouged a big hole in the budget—and the state has been using up its savings to pay the bills. We don’t know how much the state should spend: that answer depends on what things Alaskans want to keep, and what they’ll pay for them. But we can throw some light on the debate.
    • How Has the 80th Percentile Rule Affected Alaska's Health-Care Expenditures?

      Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2018-05-16)
      We use the Health Expenditures by State of Residence data (1991-2014) compiled by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to examine the causal effect of the 80th percentile rule on Alaska's health care expenditures. We find evidence that Alaska's expenditures would have been lower in the absence of rule. The share of the overall increase in expenditures that we attribute to the 80th percentile rule is between 8.61% and 24.65%. It is important to note that using expenditures as a proxy for costs has limitations as it is the product of both quantity of services used and prices.
    • How Has the 80th Percentile Rule Affected Alaska's Health-Care Expenditures?

      Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 5/16/2018)
      We use the Health Expenditures by State of Residence data (1991-2014) compiled by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to examine the causal effect of the 80th percentile rule on Alaska's health care expenditures. We find evidence that Alaska's expenditures would have been lower in the absence of rule. The share of the overall increase in expenditures that we attribute to the 80th percentile rule is between 8.61% and 24.65%. It is important to note that using expenditures as a proxy for costs has limitations as it is the product of both quantity of services used and prices.