• 2009 Alaska Health Workforce Vacancy Study

      Landon, Beth; Doucette, Sanna; Frazier, Rosyland; Wilson, Meghan; Silver, Darla; Hill, Alexandra; Sanders, Kate; Sharp, Suzanne; Johnson, Kristin; DeRoche, Patricia; et al. (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-12)
      Alaska continues to experience health professional shortages. The state has long had a deficient “supply side” characterized by insufficient numbers of key health workers whose recruitment, retention, and training have been impeded by Alaska’s remoteness, harsh climate, rural isolation, low population density, and scarce training resources. Alaska is the only state without a pharmacy school and lacks its own dental and physical therapy schools as well. Health professional shortages can be decreased through the start of new training programs, the expansion of existing programs, and the improvement of the effectiveness of recruitment and retention efforts. However, strategic planning and the execution of such programs require valid and accurate data. To this end, stakeholders such as the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (AMHTA) and Alaskan's For Access to Health Care (ACCESS), along with schools and departments within the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), funded the Alaska Center for Rural Health-Alaska’s AHEC (ACRH) and the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) to conduct a comprehensive health workforce study during winter and spring of 2009. This report highlights employers’ needs for employees to fill budgeted positions. This is different from a needs assessment that would take into account population demographics and disease incidence and prevalence. This health workforce study is an assessment of health manpower shortage based on budgeted staff positions and their vacancies in organizations throughout the state. Respondents included part-time positions, which resulted in our counting full-time equivalent (FTE) rather than individuals (“bodies”). In situations where a position was divided among more than one occupation (e.g., Dental Assistant and Billing Clerk), we asked the respondent to count the position under which they considered the position’s “primary occupation.” This was a point-in-time cross-sectional study. Recently filled vacancies or imminent vacancies were not counted. Positions filled by relief/temporary/locum/contract health workers were counted as vacancies only if these workers were temporarily filling a currently vacant, budgeted position. Due to budget and time constraints, we were not able to conduct a trend analysis that is a comparison of this study’s findings and the prior 2007 study. The key questions this study sought to answer were (1) How many budgeted positions, either full- or part-time, existed in organizations providing health services in Alaska? (2) How many of these budgeted positions were currently vacant? (3) What was the vacancy rate? (4) How many of the organizations that employ these occupations hired new graduates of training programs? (5) How many of the currently vacant budgeted positions (#2) could be filled by new graduates of training programs? (6) What were the mean and maximum length of time, expressed in months, that the vacancies have existed? (7) What were the principal, underlying causes of vacancies? The study was designed in consultation with an advisory group that included AMHTA, ACCESS, and UAA. The study targeted 93 health occupations. The unit of analysis was the employment site by organization type, which allowed for the allocation of positions and vacancies by geographic region. For each employer, we identified the staff person most knowledgeable about hiring and vacancies. In large organizations this meant that one employer might provide information about multiple sites and organization types; smaller employers were responsible for only a single site.
    • 2011 Denali National Park and Preserve Visit Characteristics

      Fix, Peter; Ackerman, Andrew; Fay, Ginny (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1/1/13)
    • 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.
    • 2013 Alaska's Construction Spending Forecast

      Guettabi, Mouhcine; Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2/1/13)
    • 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
    • 2016 Alaska's Construction Spending Forecast

      Cravez, Pamela; Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1/1/2016)
    • 2017 Alaska's Construction Spending Forecast

      Cravez, Pamela; Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1/1/2017)
    • 2018 Alaska's Construction Spending Forecast

      Leask, Linda; Goldsmith, Oliver Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2018-01-01)
      The total value of construction spending “on the street” in Alaska in 2018 will be $6.6 billion, up 4% from 2017.1, 2,3 The increase is due to a recovery in Petroleum sector spending which will grow 15% to $2.6 billion from its low of $2.2 billion last year. All other construction spending will be $4.0 billion, a decline of 2% from $4.1 billion last year. Private spending, excluding petroleum, will be about $1.5 billion, down 5% from $1.6 billion last year—while public spending will decline 1% to $2.5 billion. Wage and salary employment in construction will decline 3% to 14.5 thousand.4 After falling by half in the last two years, spending by the petroleum industry will start to recover because of the rise in the price of oil, and more support for the industry from the federal and state governments.
    • 2019 Alaska's Construction Spending Forecast

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2/6/2019)
    • Adaptation to climate change in coastal communities: findings from seven sites on four continents

      Berman, Matthew; Kofinas, Gary (Climatic Change, 2019-10-26)
      Climate change is causing wide-ranging effects on ecosystem services critical to coastal communities and livelihoods, creating an urgent need to adapt. Most studies of climate change adaptation consist of narrative descriptions of individual cases or global synthesis, making it difficult to formulate and test locally rooted but generalizable hypotheses about adaptation processes. In contrast, researchers in this study analyzed key points in climate change adaptation derived from coordinated fieldwork in seven coastal communities around the world, including Arctic, temperate, and tropical areas on four continents. Study communities faced multiple challenges from sea level rise and warmer ocean temperatures, including coastal erosion, increasing salinity, and ecological changes. We analyzed how the communities adapted to climate effects and other co-occurring forces for change, focusing on most important changes to local livelihoods and societies, and barriers to and enablers of adaptation. Although many factors contributed to adaptation, communities with strong self-organized local institutions appeared better able to adapt without substantial loss of well-being than communities where these institutions were weak or absent. Key features of these institutions included setting and enforcing rules locally and communication across scales. Self-governing local institutions have been associated with sustainable management of natural resources. In our study communities, analogous institutions played a similar role to moderate adverse effects from climate-driven environmental change. The findings suggest that policies to strengthen, recognize, and accommodate local institutions could improve adaptation outcomes.
    • Adapting to Environmental and Social Change: Subsistence in Three Aleutian Communities

      Schmidt, Jennifer; Berman, Matthew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2018-04-19)
      Our surroundings and society are both constantly evolving. Some changes are due to natural processes. People are responsible for other changes, because of what we do—for example, increasing the size of the population, expanding technology, and increasing mobility and connectivity. And some changes—like climate change—are due to a combination of natural processes and actions of people. In the Arctic, including the Aleutian Islands, marine and coastal ecosystems have seen the largest number of regime shifts with direct and indirect consequences for subsistence activities, commercial fisheries, and coastal communities (Council 2016). This paper describes current subsistence activities and changes local residents have observed over time in three Aleutian Island communities—Akutan, Nikolski, and Atka. As described more later, we did initial household surveys in 2016 and a second round in 2017, as well as more detailed interviews with some residents.
    • Adapting to Environmental and Social Change: Subsistence in Three Aleutian Communities

      Schmidt, Jennifer; Berman, Matt (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 4/19/2018)
    • After Broadband: A Study of Organizational Use of Broadband in Southwest Alaska

      Hudson, Heather E.; Sharp, Suzanne; Hill, Alexandra (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-06-01)
      The purpose of this research was to gain a preliminary understanding of how organizations including large and small businesses, Native corporations and organizations, and local and regional governments are using broadband that is now available in much of southwest Alaska. To learn about community access to broadband, interviews were also conducted with library and school staff in communities where broadband had been installed under the OWL (Online with Libraries) program. Further, the study identifies research from other sources that could help to predict what socio-economic impacts the availability and adoption of broadband may have in rural Alaska. Financial institutions use online connections for teller services and credit and debit card processing, and stated that more people in rural communities now have debit cards that they can use for online purchases and bill paying. Large retailers use online services for payroll, for pointof-sale (POS) transactions, and online ordering. Seafood processors rely heavily on connectivity with their head offices (generally in the lower 48) for administrative services including payroll, accounting, shipping and receiving, purchasing, and ERP (enterprise resource planning), and access data base software to track fish tickets. Seafood processors also provide Internet access for their employees, most of whom are seasonal and from other states or countries. Tourism businesses use broadband for online reservation systems and for guests, who increasingly demand connectivity even for remote vacations. Village corporations and tribal councils use online services to help their residents obtain hunting and fishing licenses and fishing permits, to learn about funding opportunities, and to file reports on grants. Local Governments connect online for interoffice communications and for payroll and other administrative functions. Other online applications and services include providing remote desktop access from other agency sites, use of online tools for land management and mapping, training including webinars for workforce development, and providing access to social services for clients. An economic development organization sends newsletters to communities electronically and packets of documents to its board members rather than relying on fax or courier. Websites are important for tourism-related businesses to advertise and promote their businesses and for nonprofits and local governments to provide information about their services. 5 Broadband now plays many roles in rural education. Most students are required to use the Internet for class assignments. High school students can connect to classes in advanced subjects in other communities, and may complete online courses for college credit. Libraries remain important locations for community access, with residents going online to connect with friends on Facebook, as well as to download content for e-books, file income tax, and apply for jobs and government benefits. School and library Wi-Fi provides access inside and near the buildings for residents with smartphones. Despite enthusiasm for broadband and the adoption of many broadband-based applications and services, most organizations interviewed identified problems with broadband, particularly with the pricing, stating that the terrestrial broadband network is too costly for them to take full advantage of online services and applications. While the scope of this study was too limited to estimate long-term benefits, it found that broadband is highly valued and increasingly important to businesses and nonprofit organizations and local governments in southwest Alaska. Broadband helps businesses to be more efficient in their operations and to extend their reach to new customers and suppliers. It also helps to improve the effectiveness of public sector services such as those provided by borough and city governments and extends access to education and training. Broadband is also likely to be an important component of strategies to develop ecotourism and other ecosystem services.
    • Air and Water Violations in Alaska 2011-2019

      Loefflor, Bob (5/7/2020)
      Alaskans care about their environment. Whenever we discuss development and conservation proposals, there is always a discussion about whether our water and air are being protected and whether some industries have a good record protecting our air and water. Or not.
    • Alaska 1332 Waiver - Economic Analysis

      Bibler, Andrew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-12-23)
      The four guardrails that a successful 1332 waiver must meet are as follows: 1. Coverage - There must be at least a comparable number of individuals with coverage under the waiver as would have had coverage without the waiver. 2. Affordability – The waiver should not result in an increase in out-of-pocket spending required of residents to obtain coverage, relative to income. 3. Comprehensiveness – The waiver should not decrease the number of individuals with coverage that meets the essential health benefits (EHB) benchmark. 4. Deficit Neutrality – The waiver should not have any negative impact on the federal deficit. In this report, the first three guardrails are briefly discussed to reaffirm that the actuarial analysis conducted by Oliver Wyman demonstrates that the proposed waiver meets them. The actuarial report from Oliver Wyman projects that the proposed waiver will increase the number of individuals taking up insurance in the individual market, lower average premiums, and have no impact on the comprehensiveness of coverage. The numbers reported in the actuarial analysis are then used to help evaluate the impact that the proposed waiver will have on the federal budget.
    • Alaska 1332 Waiver- Economic Analysis

      Bibler, Andrew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-12-01)
      The four guardrails that a successful 1332 waiver must meet are as follows: 1. Coverage - There must be at least a comparable number of individuals with coverage under the waiver as would have had coverage without the waiver. 2. Affordability – The waiver should not result in an increase in out-of-pocket spending required of residents to obtain coverage, relative to income. 3. Comprehensiveness – The waiver should not decrease the number of individuals with coverage that meets the essential health benefits (EHB) benchmark. 4. Deficit Neutrality – The waiver should not have any negative impact on the federal deficit. In this report, the first three guardrails are briefly discussed to reaffirm that the actuarial analysis conducted by Oliver Wyman demonstrates that the proposed waiver meets them. The actuarial report from Oliver Wyman projects that the proposed waiver will increase the number of individuals taking up insurance in the individual market, lower average premiums, and have no impact on the comprehensiveness of coverage. The numbers reported in the actuarial analysis are then used to help evaluate the impact that the proposed waiver will have on the federal budget. There are at least four ways in which the waiver will have an important impact on the federal budget, which are summarized in Table 1. Table 1: Impact of Proposed Waiver on Budget Direction of Effect APTC Savings + Individual Shared Responsibility Payments - Health Insurance Providers Fee - Federal Exchange User Fees - Overall Impact on Budget + The first and most important impact of the waiver is that it will lead to a reduction in premiums. The reduction in premiums reduces the amount of Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTC) that individuals will be eligible for and generates savings of $50 - $100 million per year from 2018 through 2026. There are also three routes through which the waiver will negatively impact the budget by decreasing revenue: individual shared responsibility payments, health insurance providers fees, and federal exchange user fees. Because the waiver will lead to more individuals taking up insurance in the individual market, fewer individuals will owe 2 Attachment 4 Alaska 1332 Waiver - Economic Analysis December 23, 2016 the individual penalty for not having health insurance. The health insurance providers fee depends on the amount of premiums aggregated to the national level. Because the waiver depresses premiums in the Alaska individual insurance market, it will have a secondary negative effect on the total amount collected through the providers fee for years 2019 through 2026. Lower premiums also reduce the amount collected in federal exchange user fees, a 3.5% tax imposed on premiums sold through the Federally Facilitated Marketplace. The aggregate impact on the budget is positive, because the APTC savings outweigh the combined negative impact of the other three channels. Table 2 summarizes the aggregate impact of the four components on the federal budget. Year Final Savings 2016 $0 2017 $0 2018 $48,973,684 2019 $52,260,336 2020 $56,108,411 2021 $61,486,732 2022 $65,612,013 2023 $72,213,851 2024 $77,717,467 2025 $84,814,665 2026 $91,785,506 Table 2: Estimated Savings from Waiver (Before Pass-Through Funding) The overall impact through these four components is about $49 million in savings in 2018. Savings increase in every year thereafter, reaching nearly $92 million in 2026. The savings listed in Table 2 are before the granting of any pass-through funding, so they suggest that as long as pass-through funding is less than or equal to these figures, the proposed waiver will meet the federal deficit neutrality requirement.
    • Alaska after Prudhoe Bay: Sustainability of an Island Economy

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2011-03)
      The typical sovereign island economy is small and remote. For example the remote island nations of Nauru, Niue, and Saint Helena have populations in the range of 10 thousand each. Of course not all island nations are small or remote and neither are small or remote economies necessarily islands. However it is useful to think about the economies of small and remote islands because they can help us to understand the economic structure and prospects of larger and less remote places. Island economies generally lack a comparative advantage in the production of goods or services for export to the rest of the world. This is due to distance from markets and suppliers as well as an absence of economies of scale and specialization, both of which drive up the cost of exporting goods and services. And although the economic theory of comparative advantage tells us that trade among countries can occur even if one has an advantage in the production of all goods and services, that theory can break down if costs in the small and remote economy are too high. The mechanism by which the island economy gains access to export markets in the presence of high costs is through downward adjustment in the wage. But in some cases the wage would need to become negative to overcome the cost disadvantages created by distance and size. In such a case the island would have a subsistence economy with neither exports to the rest of the world or imports. The most important private economic activities one observes in these economies are agriculture and fishing. Occasionally an island economy will be able to take advantage of a market niche to generate exports. Tourism is the most common, and mining has provided an export base in some other places. However these market activities will not necessarily be large enough to employ a large share of the population. Furthermore dependence on a single activity leaves these economies vulnerable or “precarious”.As a consequence many of these economies are dependent on foreign aid and remittances from emigrants. These funds allow these economies to purchase a basic level of imports that would not otherwise be possible
    • Alaska Coastal Community Youth and the Future

      Lowe, Marie E.; Wilson, Meghan; Robyn, Miller; Sanders, Kate (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2012-06)
    • Alaska Community Fuel Use

      Saylor, Ben; Wilson, Meghan; Szymoniak, Nick; Fay, Ginny; Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-10)
      The goal of this project was to estimate the amount of fuel used for space heating and electricity production by communities in Alaska. No comprehensive Alaska fuel use data exist at the community level. Community fuel consumption by type of fuel and end use is needed to estimate the potential economic benefits from demand- and supply-side investments in fuel use reduction projects. These investments include weatherization and housing stock improvements; improved lighting, appliance and space heating efficiencies; waste heat capture; electric interties, and alternative energy supply options such as wind and hydroelectric generation. Ultimately the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) and others can use this information to rank and select a suite of projects that provide the largest gains in fuel reductions at the lowest long-term costs and the highest returns on investment over the life of the projects. Study communities consisted of Power Cost Equalization (PCE) eligible communities. Communities in the North Slope Borough were excluded because fuel subsidies offered by the borough result in different patterns of energy use by households.
    • The Alaska Economy And The Challenge Ahead

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 11/1/2015)