Economic outlook ‘modestly optimistic’ for Anchorage in 2023

AEDC releases report after surveying 240 local businesses and organizations
AEDC releases report after surveying 240 local businesses and organizations
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 7:07 PM AKST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage Economic Development Corporation released the results of its economic forecast for 2023 during an annual luncheon Wednesday in downtown Anchorage.

The report comes after 240 local businesses and organizations were surveyed over past performance, expected performance, and identifying issues within the city in order of importance.

“It’s a really, really important overview of the community that will help both the business community, the government, and the community at large better understand the direction that we’re headed in,” AEDC President and CEO Bill Popp said.

According to the report, the overall business confidence score for 2023 dropped slightly from last year to 60.2 points, but remained well above the 10-year average of 54.9 points. Total scoring saw very little change over 2022, with the largest change in outlook in Anchorage’s economy, which fell by 2.9 points.

During the hour-and-a-half-long event, Popp described the overall outlook to local business leaders as “modestly optimistic” and debuted the new ‘Choose Anchorage’ action plan, a strategic initiative that promotes business vitality, talent, quality of place, and infrastructure.

“This is a very specific, achievable, doable plan that will allow us over the next five years to start addressing the issues,” Popp said.

Results in the Business Confidence Index Survey concluded that the lack of people applying for jobs is the top barrier to business growth.

“’Choose Anchorage’ is going to be a plan that Anchorage needs to get behind to change our competitiveness for the better,” Popp said.

The report also outlined a decrease in interest supporting the implementation of a sales tax in Anchorage, with 51% of organizations polled in support, down from 57% reported in 2020.

AEDC’s Economic Forecast report also outlined employment status and expectations from businesses in the year to come, projecting that Anchorage is expected to add jobs in 2023. The city has steadily gained employment since a major drop in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are forecasting new job growth in 2023, about 1,550 new jobs added to the economy,” Popp said.

The sectors anticipating the biggest growth in jobs are leisure and hospitality, transportation, as well as retail trade. Healthcare, government, and financial activities are forecasted to remain unchanged.

The reports also outline Anchorage’s population, unemployment, and inflation rates. Both the forecast report as well as the index survey are available on AEDC’s website.