Alaska jobs haven’t bounced back as well as other states’

Dan Robinson, chief of research and analysis at the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, testifies at the state Capitol in 2019. (Gavel Alaska video still)

Alaska’s job losses weren’t as steep as the national average in April, but the state’s recovery is lagging behind nearly every other state. 

That’s one of the conclusions Alaska Department of Labor Research Chief Dan Robinson reached in an article in the department’s monthly Trends publication. Robinson looked at COVID-19 job losses for each state compared to the same month the year before. The pandemic’s impact on tourism is a big factor in why jobs in Alaska haven’t bounced back as high as other places.

“There  are four states that have worse job numbers than us in July, and all four of them had more leisure and hospitality job loss than we did, and (more than) the U.S. did in general,” Robinson said.

In the Lower 48, states with national parks recovered a portion of their tourism with the summer driving season. But, Robinson points out, cruise traffic to Alaska just stopped.

He predicts Alaska’s recovery will look comparatively better in October, when 2020 won’t be compared to a normal peak season.

From Trends, September 2020

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Liz Ruskin covers Alaska issues in Washington as the network's D.C. correspondent. She was born in Anchorage and is a West High grad. She has degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia. She previously worked at the Homer News, the Anchorage Daily News and the Washington bureau of McClatchy Newspapers. She also freelanced for several years from the U.K. and Japan, in print and radio. Liz has been APRN’s Washington, D.C. correspondent since October 2013. She's @lruskin on Twitter. She welcomes your news tips at lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz

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