State officials expect to see labor increase through 2016

Posted: Monday, February 09, 2009

State labor officials, responding to industry and occupational employment forecasts, are projecting Alaska's job base will rise nearly 14 percent, or 44,000 jobs, for the decade ending in 2016.

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development's projections note that this is less than the 51,200 new jobs added during the prior decade, 1996 through 2006.

The projections are updated every two years to provide information to individuals who are considering educational choices, entering the job market or changing careers.

In addition to the new jobs projected for the 2006-2016 time frame, state labor analysts expect there to be an additional 74,000 job openings occurring as a result of replacing workers who change occupations, retire or leave the labor force for various reasons.

While average employment growth is expected to be 13.9 percent during the forecast period, some industry sectors are expected to outperform this growth rate, particularly the health care and social assistance industries, at 24.8 percent growth.

Two other industries projected to grow slightly faster are utilities, at 27.8 percent, and professional, scientific and technical services, at 24.9 percent. Other sectors in the economy projecting well above average gains include mining, arts, entertainment and recreation.

Both mining and construction jobs are projected to grow faster than average during this period.

Underperforming industries include government and manufacturing. The agricultural-related industries will continue to see declines during the forecast period, labor officials said.

Of the 21 major occupational categories, the greatest number of new job openings between 2006 and 2016 are projected within the construction and mining category

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