With a landmass more than twice the size of Texas, Alaska is the largest US state. The Last Frontier pulled through the recession relatively smoothly due in part to a diversified economy that includes government, energy and tourism jobs. With the energy market expanding and national economy recovering, Alaska job opportunities are expected to rise for the state's 367,500 workers.
Alaska Job Opportunities
More than 1 million people visit Alaska annually, making tourism an important industry for the state. With multiple military bases to protect the Alaska Pipeline and 30,000 miles of coastline, Alaska also has a strong government presence. The state's energy sector is also key, providing 13.2 percent of the nation's oil and natural gas production.
Government jobs account for about 25 percent of total employment in Alaska. Trade, transportation and utilities and education/health services are the next-largest hiring sectors. Most industries reported job expansion in 2012 with construction, education/health services, professional/business services, and leisure and hospitality having the strongest percentage gains.
Alaska Employment Trends
Alaska's unemployment rate peaked at 8.2 percent in late 2009 and early 2010 before falling to the 7-percent range by early 2012. Alaska payrolls were strong in early 2011 but slowed throughout the year with some job loss reported in late 2011 and mid-2012. Online hiring was mostly constricted for much of 2011 and 2012, which could indicate delays in further improvement to the job situation.
The number of Alaska jobs is expected to grow 1.6 percent between Q2 2012 and Q2 2013, higher than the 1.3 percent growth expected in the US job supply during that time, Moody's Analytics forecasts.