AEDC says the economic forecast for 2021 is looking up

According to projections from the AEDC, Anchorage could lose jobs through 2023.
According to projections from the AEDC, Anchorage could lose jobs through 2023.(KTUU)
Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 5:53 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Getting COVID-19 under control to help the economy get back on its feet was one of the main priorities during this year’s AEDC Economic Forecast Virtual Luncheon.

“The foundation of our projection is the widespread deployment of the COVID-19 vaccines and a community focused on suppressing the pandemic through mask-wearing, social distancing, and avoiding large groups,” said Bill Popp, President and CEO of the Anchorage Economic Development Corp.

Anchorage had hopes of coming out of a 5-year recession, but COVID-19 changed the economic forecast for years to come.

“We are counting on the citizens of Anchorage to do their part by getting vaccinated and wearing their masks until we are sure COVID-19 is a bad memory and a lesson for the future,” Popp said.

This year the city is expected to add 4,000 jobs, boosting the total to 141,600, according to the forecast.

Popp said sectors that are expected to see growth this year include leisure and hospitality, retail, transportation, health care and professional and business services.

“AEDC forecasts the addition of 4,000 jobs in 2021, this would be the largest year over year in Anchorage jobs since 2001,” Popp said. “The growth in jobs will ramp up in the second half of the year, as we begin the multi-year recovery process for the Anchorage economy.”

Anchorage also saw a decline in population during 2020. Although, according to the forecast, the construction industry lost about 500 jobs in 2020, averaging a little more than 7,000 jobs and around 8,400 during the peak construction season. AEDC expects no change in the construction employment industry for 2021.

The forecast states, at peak of oil jobs back in 2014, there were 14,800 oil and gas jobs. Now there are around 7,900. The oil and gas sector is expected to grow very slightly, with new oil discoveries on the slope.

Read the full 2021 AEDC Economic Forecast here.

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