• 2004 Alaska Construction Spending Forecast

      Goldsmith, Scott; Killorin, Mary (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2004)
      We estimate total construction spending in Alaska in 2004 will be $5.315 billion, about the same as last year. Private spending will be $3.250 billion, or 61 percent of the total. Public spending will contribute $2.065 billion, or 39 percent.
    • 2005 Alaska Construction Spending Forecast

      Goldsmith, Scott; Killorin, Mary (Associated General Contractors of Alaska: Construction Industry Progress Fund, 2005)
      Construction spending is one of the important contributors to overall economic activity in Alaska. It supports firms not only in the construction industry itself, but also construction activity “hidden” in other sectors of the economy such as oil and gas and mining. This is the second year we have prepared a forecast of construction spending, and our categories of spending are not exactly comparable to those last year. Consequently it is not possible to directly compare the forecasts by category between 2004 and 2005. Although we have not conducted a formal year-end review of construction spending in 2004, in the process of collecting information for 2005 we have determined that our projection for 2004 was robust.
    • 2006 Alaska's Construction Spending Forecast

      Goldsmith, Scott; Killorin, Mary (2005)
      Total construction spending in Alaska in 2006 will be $6.525 billion, an increase of 13% from a revised figure of $5.755 billion in 2005. This is the amount of money that will “hit the street” for construction during the year. Because of increases in the cost of materials during 2005, industry employment and other measures of activity will not expand as much as spending, but 2006 will be another very strong year for the construction industry with some sectors, most notably education, up sharply from 2005. Uncertainty in the forecast for 2006 comes from the likelihood that material prices will continue to be volatile due to strong demand. This may negatively impact some major projects, as was the case in 2005. For example the Alyeska pipeline reconfiguration project was originally scheduled for completion last year, but cost overruns (and possibly other factors) caused total spending to increase substantially and the estimated time for completion to be moved into 2006."
    • 2007 Alaska's Construction Spending Forecast

      Killorin, Mary; Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2007)
      Uncertainty in the forecast for 2007 comes from several sources. The decline in the crude oil price in recent months may cause some firms working in the oil patch to re-evaluate their capital budget decisions and slow their rate of investment in exploration and development. All sectors of the industry are continuing to experience rapid increases in construction material costs that will undoubtedly cause some projects to be canceled or postponed, as has been the case in the last several years.
    • 2008 Alaska's Construction Spending Forecast

      Killorin, Mary; Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2008)
      Total construction spending “on the street” in Alaska in 2008 will be $7.01 billion, down 2% from last year. Excluding the oil and gas sector—which accounts for 41% of the total—construction spending will be down for the second year in a row, falling 6% to $4.12 billion. Last year it declined 3%. Lower construction spending, combined with higher material and labor costs, will result in a modest reduction in the level of construction employment in 2008. Although this will be the second year of decline in construction employment, it remains well above the long-term trend. Construction costs continue to rise faster than the general rate of inflation—and that trend is expected to continue, further reducing the purchasing power of each construction dollar. Private-sector construction spending is projected to be $4.64 billion in 2008, an increase of 2% over 2007. Strong growth is expected in oil and gas, mining, utilities, and the other basic sectors.
    • 2009 Alaska’s Construction Spending Forecast

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Killorin, Mary (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-01)
      Construction spending “on the street” in Alaska in 2009 will be $7.1 billion, down 3% from 2008.1,2,3 Lower construction spending, combined with higher material and labor costs, will result in a modest reduction in the level of construction employment in 2009. Although this will be the fourth year of decline, the level remains considerably above the long-term average. Excluding the oil and gas sector—which accounts for 43% of the total—construction spending will be $4.1 billion—down 1% from 2008. Private-sector construction spending will follow the slowdown in the Alaska economy. Excluding oil and gas, we expect private spending to be $1.3 billion in 2009, a decline of 24% from 2008. But strength in the oil and gas sector will keep the overall private sector decline to only 12%. Mining, utilities, and commercial spending will be down, mostly because a number of large projects have been completed. However, commercial —as well as residential— spending will be weaker, in response to the slowdown in the U.S. economy. Public construction spending will be up 16%, to $2.7 billion, offsetting much of the decline in private spending. That growth will mainly be due to the large FY 2009 state capital budget. But strong federal spending— both military and civilian— and the federal stimulus package will also contribute to the increase. Uncertainty in this year’s forecast comes from several sources. Volatility in commodity prices has affected construction spending in two important ways. The lower petroleum and metals prices in early 2009 have made investment in some prospects less attractive. Also, companies that finance construction activities out of their current cash flow are dealing with shrinking capital budgets. The national economy continues to deteriorate as we enter 2009.
    • 2010 Alaska's Construction Spending Forecast

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Killorin, Mary (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2010-01)
      The total value of construction spending “on the street” in Alaska in 2010 will be $7.0 billion, down 3% from 2009.1,2,3 Wage and salary employment in the construction industry will continue the slow decline which began in 2006, but the level remains above the long-term average for the industry. Excluding the oil and gas sector—which accounts for 43% of the total—construction spending will be $4.0 billion— down 4% from 2009. Private-sector construction spending will be down only 1% from 2009, to $4.4 billion, in spite of the slowdown in the Alaska economy. Oil and gas sector spending will be flat. Spending will increase in the utilities and hospitals4 categories but will decline in mining, residential, other commercial, and the other rural basic sector categories. Public construction spending will be down 5%, to $2.6 billion, in spite of the infusion of cash from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Although some categories of federal spending will be higher, many will be lower and state spending will also be lower because of the lean FY 2010 capital budget. Uncertainty in this year’s forecast comes from several sources. As we start 2010 there is no clear indication if the national economy is starting to recover from the recession, and if it does, how strong that recovery will be. Although Alaska has been insulated from the worst effects of the recession—the crash in the housing market, high unemployment, and lack of credit—concerns about the national recovery will continue to influence investment decisions in the state, particularly in the commercial and residential markets. Local government capital spending is also vulnerable to reductions in tax revenues from activities, like tourism, driven by the national economy. The passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in early 2009 has provided an important boost to construction spending this year. A second stimulus may be undertaken later this year, but it is too soon to speculate on how that might impact construction spending, so we assume no further federal action. The Alaska economy contracted in 2009 for the first time in 22 years—but the reduction in employment was only about 1%. Forecasts for Alaska’s economy in 2010 vary from further moderate declines in employment to a resumption of growth. This difference of opinion underscores the sense of caution in the business community about the near-term prospects for the economy. As the year begins, petroleum and precious metal (gold and silver) prices are strong and rising, and base metal prices (zinc) have rebounded from the lows of last year. Petroleum and mining capital budgets are particularly sensitive to these prices, which are likely to continue to fluctuate throughout the year. We assume these prices remain strong throughout the year.
    • 2011 Alaska's Construction Spending Forecast

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Killorin, Mary (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2011-02)
      The total value of construction spending “on the street” in Alaska in 2011 will be $7.1 billion, up 4% from 2010.1,2,3 Wage and salary employment in the construction industry will continue the slow decline that began in 2006, but the level remains above the long-term average for the industry. Excluding the oil and gas sector—which accounts for 41% of the total—construction spending will be $4.2 billion—up 5% from 2010. Private-sector construction spending will be up 6% from 2010, to $4.5 billion, in spite of the expected slow growth in the overall Alaska economy. Oil and gas sector spending will be about $2.9 billion, up 3%. Spending will increase in the utility and hospitals4 categories, but will decline in residential and other commercial categories. Public construction spending will be up 1%, to $2.7 billion, due to the large FY 2011 state capital budget. The main infusion of cash from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has worked its way through the system, and federal spending overall has declined. Uncertainty is particularly significant in the forecast this year, especially in the oil and gas sector—in spite of high oil prices. In January 2011, uncertainty surrounds most of the large-scale petroleum projects on the North Slope and in Cook Inlet. Environmental reviews are slowing development drilling at Point Thomson east of Prudhoe Bay and Alpine West in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska. Exploration drilling offshore in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas continues to face legal challenges. The offshore Liberty project is under internal environmental review. In Cook Inlet, a major offshore exploration effort awaits the uncertain arrival of a jack-up rig. In this forecast we assume most of these projects will move forward this year, but their pace is hard to predict. If several are delayed in 2011, oil and gas spending will be significantly lower.
    • 2012 Alaska's Construction Spending Forecast

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Killorin, Mary (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2012-02)
      The total value of construction spending “on the street” in Alaska in 2012 will be $7.7 billion, up 3% from 2011.1,2,3 Wage and salary employment in the construction industry will be stable at the same level as last year— 15,800. This is down from a peak of 18,300 in 2005. Excluding the oil and gas sector—which accounts for 41% of the total—construction spending will be $4.6 billion, up 4% from 2011 and about the same rate of increase as last year. Oil and gas spending will be $3.2 billion, 1% higher than in 2011. Private spending for construction will be up in 2012. Public spending for traditional government purposes will be down somewhat, but public funds also help finance some projects in the utility and health sectors, which are primarily private. So overall, an increase in state spending for construction will offset a decline in federal spending.
    • 2014 Alaska's Construction Spending Forecast

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Killorin, Mary; Leask, Linda (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-02)
      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.” Underwritten by Northrim Bank, compiled and written by Scott Goldsmith, Mary Killorin and Linda Leask 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 $9 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's Budget: Where the Money Came From and Went, 1990-2002

      Goldsmith, Scott; Leask, Linda; Killorin, Mary (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2003)
      Alaska’s state budget increased from $4.1 billion in 1990 to $7.4 billion in 2002. But who paid for that budget growth? W e know the state’ s oil revenues dropped by about half in the past decade—cr eating big holes in the budget—and Alaska has no personal income or other broad-based taxes. This paper is descriptive: we don’t mean to imply that particular changes were good or bad, or that some programs got too much or not enough money . Its’ part of a larger effort to help Alaskans understand the budget.
    • An Alaskan Law School: Is it feasible?

      Killorin, Mary (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2004)
      Responding to a request from the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) alumni, the UAA provost asked the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) to investigate the need for a law school in Alaska. Alaska is the only state that does not have a law school. The question of whether to establish a law school in Alaska has been discussed for more than thirty years. In 1974, the University of Alaska, in conjunction with the Alaska Legislative Council, commissioned a feasibility study for an Alaska law school.In May 1975, John Havelock, then director of Legal Studies at the University of Alaska, issued a report, Legal Education for A Frontier Society: A Survey of Alaskan Needs and Opportunities in Education, Research and the Delivery of Legal Services. The report is 240 pages and is very broad in scope. In this study, almost thirty years later, we revisited the question of the feasibility of establishing a law school in Alaska and came to the same conclusions. There is still no need to increase the supply of lawyers by establishing a law school in Alaska. The state can meet the legal education needs of its residents by increasing its financial support for students who go outside to law school and by establishing cooperative programs with existing ABA accredited law schools.
    • Charting New Courses for Alaska Salmon Fisheries: the Legal Waters

      Cullenberg, Paula; Killorin, Mary (Marine Advisory Program, University of Alaska, 2003)
      Alaska’s commercial salmon industry is in an economic crisis. Competition from farmed salmon, changes in consumer demand, and a worldwide economic slowdown—together with smaller sockeye salmon runs—are reducing the value of Alaska’s salmon harvest. This crisis has prompted discussions among fishermen, processors, fishery managers, and government officials about how to help the salmon industry. Part of the discussion has focused on options for “restructuring” the management of salmon fisheries to reduce costs, increase value, or steer more of the benefits to Alaskans and their communities. To help Alaskans better understand the legal and constitutional issues associated with restructuring the salmon fisheries, the University of Alaska’s Marine Advisory Program and Institute for Social and Economic Research, along with the Washington Sea Grant Program, sponsored a workshop in October 2002. Lawyers with expertise in Alaska natural resources and fisheries law answered questions about different options for restructuring.
    • A Doctoral Program in Leadership and Policy Studies: Is It Feasible?

      Killorin, Mary (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2002)
      In response to requests from the Alaskan community, the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) agreed to explore the possibility of developing a doctoral program in leadership and policy studies. This program would be developed in collaboration with the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS). The goal of the program would be to prepare Alaska leaders in the fields of education, health and human services, government, and business. The report is organized around the six main questions that respondents answered. Each question has a summary of responses indicated by bulleted themes followed by supporting quotations.
    • The Economic Benefits of Public Transportation in Anchorage

      Killorin, Mary; Larson, Eric; Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      Public transportation in Anchorage benefits transit riders and the entire community in many different ways: All forms of transit provide access to jobs, medical services, social services, shopping, recreation, and participation in the community. This enables more people to work and to spend more in the local economy. The bus system, AnchorRIDES, and Share-A-Ride (including the Van Pool) programs enable many car owners to use these alternatives instead of driving. This reduces the number of vehicles on the roads and, consequently, the costs of traffic congestion, pollution, traffic collisions, parking, and traffic services. People Mover and AnchorRIDES buses also provide essential low-cost transportation services for workers, students, tourists, low- income residents, people with disabilities, and elderly residents. This improves the quality of life and economic well-being of these groups. Public transit also contributes to economic development, improved environmental quality, better public health, land use, and improved quality of life. This report describes and quantifies many types of public transit benefits. Sections II and III provide an overview of the current level of transit services. Sections IV, V, and VI present the estimation of benefits to users, society, and the community. Section VII discusses how benefits would increase as a result of different types of ridership increases. Section VIII presents a calculation of the economic significance of the inputs used in the operation of the transit system.
    • Economic Significance of the Alaska Railroad

      Tuck, Bradford; Killorin, Mary (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2004)
      This report estimates the economic effects of Alaska Railroad spending in Alaska, for both operations and capital projects. The Alaska Railroad is a major part of the transportation network in Alaska and also between Alaska and the Lower 48. It connects with rail service from the rest of the U. S. and Canada via its port facilities in Whittier and ships coal and naphtha to Asia via the port of Seward. The railroad carries both passengers and freight, but it is freight that accounts for most of the railroad’s operating revenue. It carries large volumes of a variety of freight. In recent years, petroleum products the railroad hauls from the North Pole refinery to the Anchorage area have made up much of its freight volume. For many years it carried several hundred thousand tons of coal per year between Healy and Seward, for export to Korea, and it continues to haul coal from Healy to Fairbanks. It also hauls a significant portion of the gravel used in the Anchorage bowl from the Mat-Su Valley. The railroad is able to carry these large volumes of freight more efficiently and at lower cost than trucks—and so it facilitates current economic activity and can help make future developments feasible. Our estimates of the economic effects of railroad spending in Alaska are based on annual average spending of $108 million from 2001 through 2003. If railroad spending increased, it would support more jobs and income; if spending dropped, it would cost the state jobs and income.
    • Effectiveness and Fiscal Impact of Homeward Bound

      Haley, Sharman; Killorin, Mary; Hensley, Priscilla; Hill, Alexandra; Martin, Stephanie; Wiita, Amy Lynn; Ungadruk, Ben (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2001)
      The Rural Alaska Community Action Program and the Homeward Bound program contracted with ISER to evaluate Homeward Bound, which began in February 1997. This analysis is based on limited data and a small sample - 33 Homeward Bound clients and 35 people who were referred to the program but did not enter. We found a wide variation in how often people use services and which services they use - and the small sample and wide variation limit the ability of statistics to say whether apparent difference are real of chance variations....There are only an estimate 300 chronic, homeless alcoholics in Anchorage (defined as people who have been picked up by the Community Service Patrol at least 30 time in one year). But they're expensive to the community - because they so frequently use state and city rescue and protection services, emergency medical care, and alcohol treatment facilities, among other things. This report finds that the clients of the Homeward Bound program cost the justice system less, use some city services less frequently, and are less likely to need advanced life support services when an ambulance is required.
    • Enrollment Trends at University of Alaska Community Campuses

      Killorin, Mary; Goldsmith, Scott; Hill, Alexandra (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2005)
      The level of tuition is only one of many determinants of participation. For example, in recent years strength in job growth, reduced grant funding, and a more restrictive residency requirement for instate tuition have all also negatively impacted participation. Conditions specific to individual campuses, such as consistency of leadership and the natural maturation cycle associated with the introduction of new programs, have also been important. Some of these factors, such as the size and composition of the population and the structure and health of the economy, are beyond the control of the University. However, other factors such as financial aid, program offerings, and marketing can be managed to not only maximize participation but, more importantly, to obtain the best possible balance between access and program availability within the fiscal constraints of the University budget.
    • Fuel Costs, Migration, and Community Viability

      Martin, Stephanie; Killorin, Mary; Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-05)
      ISER researchers compiled and reviewed existing studies and data sources relating to the economic and social viability of remote rural Alaska communities. We particularly looked for possible linkages between high fuel costs and migration. Our review indicates the following: (1) migration from smaller places toward larger places is an ongoing phenomenon that is more noticeable when birth rates drop; (2) there is no systematic empirical evidence that fuel prices, by themselves, have been a definitive cause of migration; (3) the pursuit of economic and educational opportunities appears to be a predominant cause of migration; (4) however, currently available survey data are not sufficient to definitively determine other reasons for migration, which could include concerns about public safety and/or alcohol abuse; 5) most of the survey data pre-date the latest rapid increase (2006-2008) in fuel prices. We suggest several ways that better data could be collected on community viability and the reasons for migration.
    • National Guard Subsistence Survey Reports (2006 and 2007)

      DeRoche, Patricia; Goldsmith, Scott; Killorin, Mary; Schultz, Caroline; Ulran, Uyuriukaraq Lily Anne Andrews; Wilson, Meghan (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      These reports provides data collected regarding subsistence activities in communities of Alaska's north and south west regions (2006) and in the southeast region including Kenai and Kodiak (2007) . Data is tabulated by community and then by species. No interpretation is provided. Information intended to determine the best times for the National Guard to conduct training exercises in these areas.