Alaska Q1, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 22,106 employers, up 2.5% from 21,568
  • 309,211 employees, up 0.4% from 307,967
  • $1,108 average weekly wage, up 3.3% from $1,073
  • The average weekly wage is 6.4% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 30.6% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 538, which is an increase of 2.5%. The number of employees in Alaska increased by 1,245, an increase of 0.4%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $35, an increase of 3.3%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 518 or 2.6%. Growth in private businesses in Alaska grew slower than the national average of 3.0%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 1,519 or 0.7%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Alaska was slower than the national average of 1.7%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $40 or 3.7%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Alaska grew faster than the national average of 3.0%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Construction with 11.1% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 3.6%. Retail trade (10.5%), which increased by 0.7% and Healthcare (10.1%), which increased by 3.2%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Educational services258.1%
Manufacturing346.1%
Agriculture and forestry155.8%
Information164.4%
Construction853.6%
Healthcare693.2%
Transport and warehousing343.0%
Professional services623.0%
Waste services292.5%
Real estate and rental162.4%
Accommodation and food services442.2%
Finance and insurance142.0%
Arts and entertainment111.9%
Wholesale trade121.8%
Company management21.3%
Utilities11.0%
Retail trade170.7%
Other services40.2%
Mining and oil extraction-8-3.1%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 15.3% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 0.4% in the last year. Retail trade (11.1%), decreased by 0.4% and Accommodation and food services (8.7%), increased by 2.0%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Agriculture and forestry696.8%
Construction8056.2%
Mining and oil extraction4693.8%
Wholesale trade1732.7%
Accommodation and food services5202.0%
Company management321.2%
Transport and warehousing770.4%
Healthcare2070.4%
Manufacturing120.1%
Professional services160.1%
Utilities20.1%
Retail trade-123-0.4%
Real estate and rental-32-0.7%
Arts and entertainment-39-0.9%
Other services-123-1.3%
Waste services-160-1.5%
Educational services-46-1.9%
Finance and insurance-152-2.2%
Information-263-4.6%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Mining and oil extraction paying $3,363per week compared with the state average of $1,109. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $113 or 3.5%. Company management ($2,158), rose by $295 or 15.8% and Utilities ($1,802) increased by $16 or 0.9% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Company management$29515.8%
Agriculture and forestry$658.6%
Educational services$497.9%
Information$806.5%
Construction$705.2%
Healthcare$505.0%
Real estate and rental$414.8%
Mining and oil extraction$1133.5%
Arts and entertainment$123.3%
Finance and insurance$392.8%
Accommodation and food services$122.7%
Transport and warehousing$282.1%
Retail trade$132.1%
Wholesale trade$242.1%
Other services$131.7%
Waste services$141.5%
Utilities$160.9%
Professional services$110.8%
Manufacturing$-30-2.9%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Alaska. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 5.3% of the businesses in the state (with 1,181 employing 16,936 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 17 more businesses, an increase of 1.5% in the last year. Residential building construction (2.1% of businesses) added 26 businesses, an increase of 5.9% and Offices of physicians (1.9% of businesses) had 5 fewer businesses, a decline of 1.2% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Trusts estates and agency accounts5166.7%
Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing2100.0%
Marketing research and public opinion polling466.7%
Appliance and electronics merchant whls.150.0%
All other general purpose machinery mfg.150.0%
Residential developmental disability homes1248.0%
School and employee bus transportation942.9%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Residential building construction265.9%
Computer systems design and related services237.1%
Services for the elderly and disabled1916.5%
Restaurants and other eating places171.5%
All other amusement and recreation industries155.5%
Electrical and wiring contractors146.5%
Other technical consulting services1219.4%


Employees by Industry

Residential building construction (2.1% of employees) added 26 employees, an increase of 5.9% and Offices of physicians (1.9% ofemployees) had 5 fewer employees, a decline of 1.2% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Inland water transportation164175.1%
All other chemical preparation manufacturing18143.6%
Social science and humanities research4179.1%
Other business support services9852.3%
Other nondurable goods merchant wholesalers4749.4%
Scenic and sightseeing transportation water10848.3%
Other travel arrangement services5348.2%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Commercial building construction52423.4%
Support activities for mining4818.1%
Wired and wireless telecommunications carriers40213.3%
General medical and surgical hospitals2782.2%
Restaurants and other eating places2201.3%
Offices of physicians1902.3%
All other miscellaneous store retailers18830.4%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

Residential building construction ($2) and Offices of physicians ($2) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Residential building construction ($2 per week) were paid $26 more per week, an increase of 5.9% and Offices of physicians ($2 per week) were paid $5 less per week, a decline of 1.2% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Land subdivision$7,9661,042.7%
Internet publishing and web search portals$805112.3%
Management training$36145.2%
Roofing contractors$37740.9%
Other building exterior contractors$34537.1%
All other miscellaneous manufacturing$16234.7%
Inland water transportation$49233.6%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Land subdivision$7,9661,042.7%
Internet publishing and web search portals$805112.3%
Inland water transportation$49233.6%
Satellite telecommunications$44531.7%
Roofing contractors$37740.9%
Management training$36145.2%
Other building exterior contractors$34537.1%


Company Size

Alaska Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Alaska by far. 59.4% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 19,373 small businesses in the state represent 96.1% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.9%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Alaska added 518 businesses in the last year, an increase of 2.6% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 527 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 2.8% as compared to the national average of 3.1%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. These mid-sized businesses declined 10 businesses in the last year, which is a decrease of 1.3% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 1 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 3.7% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Alaska Employees by Business Size

Alaska added 4,558 employees in the last year, an increase of 2.0% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 3,889 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 25.1% as compared to the national average of 4.2%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. Mid-sized businesses lost 1,699 employees in the last year, which is a decrease of 1.9% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 2,368 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 8.9% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Alaska Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in Alaska (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 19.4% less than the national average ($842 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Alaska (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 17.4% workers below the national average ($1,630 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $104 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 3.1% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $228 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 6.4% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $70 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 2.1% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.