AEDC predicts happier fiscal year

At Wednesday's annual Anchorage Economic Development Corporation luncheon, the overall report was a positive one: new jobs, and low unemployment.

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by Gretchen Parsons

ANCHORAGE- At Wednesday's annual Anchorage Economic Development Corporation luncheon, the overall report was a positive one: new jobs, and low unemployment.

 
Anchorage's unemployment rate of 4.8% is much more optimistic than the national average of 7.4%.
     
The oil and gas industry is trending upward and is expected to bring 150 new jobs to Anchorage in 2014, something AEDC President Bill Popp says is largely due to increased investments on the north slope.
  
As the population of anchorage continues to age, the jobs in health care are expected to rise by more than 250 new jobs created this year. 
     
"Smaller practices that are looking to be established and becoming a bigger employer in our community," says Popp
 
On the downside is the amount of government jobs. AEDC predicts a loss of 400 for 2014.
 
Anchorage mayor Dan Sullivan says technology plays a part and it is not direct layoffs.
 
"We have out a lot of services online so we do not need people at a counter issuing liscences or permits because you cab do that stuff online now."
 
The mayor acknowledges his administration has tightened their belts and saved Alaskans money.
 
"We have been able to reduce annual traveling expenditures by over $1 million per year in just that one area."
 
The reality is, it's hard to predict if you might get a pink slip, but some say Alaska's working class have a silver lining on their time cards.