Big swings in oil and gas: Alaska Trends, an outline of significant statewide statistics, is provided by the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development.

Author:Ainsworth, Joel
Position:Alaska This Month

In 2009, direct employment in the oil and gas sector made up 4 percent of the Alaska work force, up from 3.3 percent in 2001. Impressively, while several industries shrank during this period, oil and gas enlarged its share of the Alaska employment market by approximately 22 percent during the last eight years. Employment in this sector has been highly variable relative to the average nonfarm employment trends in Alaska.


The graph illustrates the marginal changes in employment for the oil and gas sector compared to total nonfarm employment for Alaska. Certainly, some of these large swings can be attributed to small numbers of employees that work in this sector, causing small changes in employment to appear exaggerated. Yet, relative to industrial sectors of similar or smaller sizes, oil and gas remains highly variable. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, the large swings can be attributed to employment in oil and gas being closely linked to market prices.

While employment in the oil and gas sector has remained positive since mid-2004, demand peaked in 2006. The demand for employment has continued to grow, but at a decreasing rate. In 2009, the oil and gas sector maintained a small growth of 0.8 percent; similar to where it began before the large upward trend in 2004.

Source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

ALASKA THIS MONTH Indicator Units Period GENERAL Personal Income--Alaska US$ 4th Q09 Personal Income--United States US$ 4th Q09 Consumer Prices--Anchorage 1982-1984=100 2nd H09 Consumer Prices--United States 1982-1984=100 2nd H09 Bankruptcies Alaska Total Number Filed February Anchorage Total Number Filed February Fairbanks Total Number Filed February EMPLOYMENT Alaska Thousands February Anchorage & Mat-Su Thousands February Fairbanks Thousands February Southeast Thousands February Gulf Coast Thousands February Sectoral Distribution--Alaska Total Nonfarm Wage & Salary Thousands February Goods-Producing Thousands February Service-Providing Thousands February Natural Resources & Mining Thousands February Logging Thousands February Mining Thousands February Oil & Gas Extraction Thousands February Construction Thousands February Manufacturing Thousands February Wood Products Manufacturing Thousands February Seafood Processing Thousands February Trade/Transportation/Utilities Thousands February Wholesale Trade Thousands February Retail Trade Thousands...

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