Industrial employment in Alaska increased 3.1% over the past twelve months according to the 2009 Alaska Manufacturers Directory. MNI reports Alaska gained 1,016 industrial jobs from March 2008 to March 2009 — contrary to the steep industrial employment losses experienced by the rest of the U.S.
“Steady worldwide demand for products produced in Alaska, particularly petroleum and coal products, is helping Alaska weather the recession,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publisher, which has been surveying industry since 1912.
The industrial directory reports Alaska is home to 944 manufacturers employing 33,968 workers. MNI profiles manufacturers of all sizes including small, start up companies.
According to MNI, food manufacturing accounts for 31% of the state’s industrial jobs or 10,529 jobs, down 1.2% over the past twelve months. Fish processing/canning accounts for 92% of the state’s food manufacturing jobs, down 163 jobs or 1.7% over the year.
Another 19% of Alaska’s industrial jobs are in oil & gas extraction, with the sector accounting for the majority of the state’s employment gain, up 15.8% over the year. Employment in petroleum and coal products processing represents 3,781 of the state’s industrial jobs, with no significant change reported over the year. The industrial machinery and
equipment sector accounts for 4,762 of Alaska’s manufacturing jobs, up 1.7% since March 2008.
Other sectors gaining jobs include transportation equipment, up 82 jobs or 12% and fabricated metals, up 51 jobs or 4.4%. Losses were seen in lumber/wood products, down 3.4% and printing/publishing, down 1.2%. Employment remained stable in most other sectors, according to MNI.
The Directory reports over half of the state’s industrial jobs are located in South Central Alaska. Jobs in Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak Island represent 19,666 jobs, up 402 jobs or 2.1% in the past 12 months.
The Aleutian Islands represent 4,193 of the state’s industrial jobs, down 2.5% since March 2008 while Fairbanks North Star is home to 1,904 jobs, up 1.4% over the year. The oil-rich North Slope region is home to 1,483 jobs, up 45% over the year.