Alaska Q4, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 22,550 employers, up 2.3% from 22,033
  • 315,093 employees, up 0.6% from 313,255
  • $1,139 average weekly wage, up 3.2% from $1,104
  • The average weekly wage is 3.9% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 29.9% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 517, which is an increase of 2.3%. The number of employees in Alaska increased by 1,837, an increase of 0.6%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $35, an increase of 3.2%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 498 or 2.5%. Growth in private businesses in Alaska grew slower than the national average of 2.5%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 2,201 or 1.0%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Alaska was slower than the national average of 1.2%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $41 or 3.8%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Alaska grew slower than the national average of 3.8%.


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 2.2%. Retail trade (10.4%), which increased by 1.7% and Healthcare (10.2%), which increased by 3.9%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Agriculture and forestry176.1%
Information174.5%
Healthcare873.9%
Educational services123.6%
Transport and warehousing393.4%
Manufacturing193.2%
Company management53.2%
Wholesale trade202.9%
Professional services592.8%
Utilities32.8%
Arts and entertainment142.4%
Construction552.2%
Real estate and rental121.8%
Retail trade401.7%
Waste services141.2%
Accommodation and food services241.1%
Finance and insurance81.1%
Other services130.8%
Mining and oil extraction-1-0.4%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 15.2% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 1.1% in the last year. Retail trade (11.1%), decreased by 1.7% and Accommodation and food services (9.0%), increased by 2.0%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Agriculture and forestry1249.8%
Mining and oil extraction6655.3%
Manufacturing3253.8%
Real estate and rental1563.6%
Wholesale trade2133.4%
Utilities462.1%
Arts and entertainment902.1%
Accommodation and food services5462.0%
Transport and warehousing3371.8%
Waste services1551.4%
Professional services1641.3%
Healthcare5181.1%
Company management60.2%
Construction40.1%
Other services-72-0.7%
Retail trade-593-1.7%
Finance and insurance-174-2.6%
Educational services-95-3.8%
Information-248-4.5%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Mining and oil extraction paying $2,621per week compared with the state average of $1,128. Weekly wages in this sector declined by $33 or 1.2%. Utilities ($1,807), rose by $45 or 2.6% and Company management ($1,786) increased by $125 or 7.5% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Educational services$589.0%
Agriculture and forestry$788.4%
Professional services$1157.7%
Company management$1257.5%
Waste services$637.0%
Finance and insurance$785.9%
Arts and entertainment$214.9%
Retail trade$274.3%
Healthcare$474.3%
Transport and warehousing$463.4%
Real estate and rental$323.3%
Accommodation and food services$143.0%
Utilities$452.6%
Other services$202.6%
Information$292.3%
Construction$362.3%
Manufacturing$70.7%
Wholesale trade$00.0%
Mining and oil extraction$-33-1.2%


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 1,204 employing 17,499 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 21 more businesses, an increase of 1.8% in the last year. Residential building construction (2.2% of businesses) added 39 businesses, an increase of 8.4% and Offices of physicians (1.9% of businesses) added 8 businesses, an increase of 1.9% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Software publishers1368.4%
All other food manufacturing266.7%
Credit bureaus150.0%
Telephone call centers550.0%
Management training440.0%
Professional employer organizations240.0%
Public relations agencies436.4%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Residential building construction398.4%
Services for the elderly and disabled3731.4%
Computer systems design and related services308.7%
Gasoline stations with convenience stores2518.9%
Restaurants and other eating places211.8%
Engineering services197.1%
All other miscellaneous store retailers1713.4%


Employees by Industry

Residential building construction (2.2% of employees) added 39 employees, an increase of 8.4% and Offices of physicians (1.9% ofemployees) added 8 employees, an increase of 1.9% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Other travel arrangement services6270.5%
Scenic and sightseeing transportation land15059.0%
All other chemical preparation manufacturing1557.2%
Nature parks and other similar institutions3752.8%
Sporting and athletic goods manufacturing250.0%
Scenic and sightseeing transportation water14843.9%
Petroleum bulk stations and terminals12243.7%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Commercial building construction44516.4%
Support activities for mining4126.7%
Hotels and motels except casino hotels3806.2%
General medical and surgical hospitals3462.7%
Wired and wireless telecommunications carriers2789.4%
Seafood product preparation and packaging2434.9%
Offices of physicians2122.5%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Geophysical surveying and mapping services, paying $3,160 compared with the state average of $1,128. Employees in the Geophysical surveying and mapping services industry were paid $1,174 more per week, an increase of 59.1% in the last year. Securities brokerage ($3,134) and Portfolio management ($3,097) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Securities brokerage ($3,134 per week) were paid $0 more per week, an increase of 0.0% and Portfolio management ($3,097 per week) were paid $228 more per week, an increase of 7.9% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Internet publishing and web search portals$967106.5%
Geophysical surveying and mapping services$1,17459.1%
Promoters without facilities$20947.7%
All other food manufacturing$18743.7%
Other nondepository credit intermediation$53637.4%
Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers$47336.8%
Political organizations$28032.8%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Geophysical surveying and mapping services$1,17459.1%
Internet publishing and web search portals$967106.5%
Other nondepository credit intermediation$53637.4%
Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers$47336.8%
Other technical consulting services$32716.1%
Offices of real estate appraisers$29832.1%
Ambulance services$29216.9%


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 91.2%. (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%.

Top Industries for Business and Employment

The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of businesses:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Businesses
Industry# Businesses% Change
Restaurants and other eating places1,2041.8%
Residential building construction5018.4%
Offices of physicians4251.9%
Computer systems design and related services3758.7%
Accounting and bookkeeping services3330.9%
Hotels and motels except casino hotels3113.0%
Commercial building construction3002.0%
All other amusement and recreation industries2973.8%
Offices of dentists2960.0%
Engineering services2867.1%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of employees:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Employees
Industry# Employees% Change
Restaurants and other eating places17,4990.2%
General medical and surgical hospitals12,9352.7%
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters9,401-2.1%
Offices of physicians8,7472.5%
Hotels and motels except casino hotels6,7526.2%
Support activities for mining6,5506.7%
Scheduled air transportation4,966-0.8%
Seafood product preparation and packaging4,6194.9%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores3,914-0.8%
Engineering services3,5723.5%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by highest wages:

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Geophysical surveying and mapping services$3,16059.1%
Securities brokerage$3,1340.0%
Portfolio management$3,0977.9%
Couriers and express delivery services$2,6684.4%
Computer and software merchant wholesalers$2,5148.6%
Building inspection services$2,3950.0%
Other technical consulting services$2,36116.1%
Electronic instrument manufacturing$2,2120.0%
Oil and gas pipeline construction$2,147-3.2%
Highway street and bridge construction$2,0924.2%




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.