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By: Ralph Townsend The recent economic news in Alaska and the US has been dominated by two stories: the challenges that firms confront in hiring, despite significant unemployment, and supply chain disruptions. These events lead to the obvious question: Why is this recession so different? The current recession was born... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2021 at Alaskanomics
By Mouhcine Guettabi, PhD In this brief, we summarize the state’s unrestricted general fund revenues, agency operations spending, and capital budget spending between fiscal years 1975 and 2021. The severe decline in oil prices in 2015 resulted in a significant revenue decline which has then resulted in spending reductions at... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2020 at Alaskanomics
By: Mouhcine Guettabi, PhD A year in review: In 2019, the Alaska economy emerged from a 3-year recession after losing more than 11,000 jobs between 2015 and 2018. The recovery has, however, been modest as employment averaged 0.4% or 1,400 more jobs between January and November 2019 relative to the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2020 at Alaskanomics
By Mouhcine Guettabi, Ph.D Alaska's labor force participation rate (LFPR) -share of people 16 years or older either employed or looking for a job- was 73.5% in 1999, but has experienced a steady decline since then, reaching 65% as of 2018. Figure 1 shows that the decline in men's labor... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2019 at Alaskanomics
By Mouhcine Guettabi and Nolan Klouda 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,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2019 at Alaskanomics
By Mouhcine Guettabi, The U.S. economy is convincingly in an expansionary phase, and is nearing peak growth rates for the current business cycle. Job creation has been consistently strong for an extended period, and unemployment rates have now returned to pre-recession levels. Recent stock market volatility has, however, raised questions... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2019 at Alaskanomics
By Mouhcine Guettabi A short brief on the regional dimension of the Alaska recession, part 2. We focus on the last two years of the recession where we present an exercise by region to showcase which boroughs/census areas have fared well and which ones continue to experience difficulties. We divide... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2018 at Alaskanomics
By Mouhcine Guettabi A short brief on the regional dimension of the Alaska recession, part 1. This most recession was driven by the severe decline in oil prices which caused a contraction of both government and private sector spending. Since the start of the recession, the state has lost upwards... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2018 at Alaskanomics
By Mouhcine Guettabi -How did we get here? The Alaska economy is heavily dependent on the oil sector both in terms of private sector jobs and government funding. Since the rapid decline in oil prices, it has experienced a prolonged recession with declines in employment across most sectors. Before the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2018 at Alaskanomics
A new article in the journal World Development, by Matthew Berman, professor of economics at ISER, examines how the Permanent Fund dividend (PFD) has reduced poverty among the 60,000 or so Alaska Natives living in small, isolated communities far off the road system. PFDs are cash payments the state government... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2018 at Alaskanomics
A new paper by Cliff Groh, in collaboration with ISER faculty, looks at how the state government has dealt so far with a very big problem: the state's two largest retirement systems for public employees don't have enough money to cover future costs of pensions and benefits for state and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2018 at Alaskanomics
By Mouhcine Guettabi, Alaskans have been arguing for years about how much the state should be spending, ever since low oil prices gouged a big hole in the budget. A new paper by ISER researchers Mouhcine Guettabi, Trang Tran, and Linda Leask aims to give some context to that debate,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2018 at Alaskanomics
In 2017, job losses in Alaska's ongoing recession spread from the sectors first affected—primarily oil and gas and state government—to the sectors that depend on household spending, including retail trade, accommodation and food services, and leisure and hospitality. Alaska will continue losing jobs in 2018, but at a slower pace—... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2018 at Alaskanomics
Construction spending in Alaska this year will be around $6.6 billion, up 4% from 2017. But that overall increase is due just to a recovery in spending by the petroleum industry, which is expected to be up about 15%, to nearly $2.6 billion. Without petroleum, overall construction spending in 2018... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2018 at Alaskanomics
Research Matters No. 109. Who Earns More: Private or Public Workers? Mouhcine Guettabi and Andrew Bibler, both assistant professors of economics at ISER, recently looked at how the paychecks of people who work for private businesses in Alaska compare with those of people who work for state and local governments... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2018 at Alaskanomics
By Mouhcine Guettabi, Assistant Professor of Economics, Institute of Social and Economic Research UAA Due to the decline in oil prices, the state has had to rely on savings to fund government for the last few years. The legislature has, however, not decided how it intends to fund government activity... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2018 at Alaskanomics
By Mouhcine Guettabi, Assistant Professor of Economics, Institute of Social and Economic Research, UAA The Alaska economy is currently in the midst of the second year of a recession sparked by the decline in oil prices. This decline has not only resulted in a reduction of private economic activity but... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2017 at Alaskanomics
By Dayna DeFeo, Center for Alaska Education Policy Research at the Institute of Social and Economic Research, UAA On average, every teacher who leaves a school district in Alaska costs that district nearly $20,500. A third of that is for recruiting and hiring a replacement teacher, and half is for... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2017 at Alaskanomics
By Mouhcine Guettabi, assistant professor of economics, Institute of Social and Economic Research, UAA When oil prices were high, the state government collected billions of dollars in oil revenues every year—and it shared a lot of that money with Alaska’s local governments. State aid helps pay for general government expenses... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2017 at Alaskanomics
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Oct 9, 2017