Alaska Q2, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 22,306 employers, up 2.3% from 21,799
  • 329,157 employees, up 0.9% from 326,338
  • $1,078 average weekly wage, up 3.6% from $1,041
  • The average weekly wage is 1.6% 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 507, which is an increase of 2.3%. The number of employees in Alaska increased by 2,819, an increase of 0.9%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $37, an increase of 3.6%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 493 or 2.5%. Growth in private businesses in Alaska grew slower than the national average of 2.9%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 2,992 or 1.2%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Alaska was slower than the national average of 1.4%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $39 or 3.9%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Alaska grew faster 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 11.2% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 3.3%. Retail trade (10.4%), which increased by 0.4% and Healthcare (10.1%), which increased by 2.6%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Agriculture and forestry218.0%
Educational services216.7%
Manufacturing213.7%
Real estate and rental243.6%
Construction793.3%
Information102.8%
Professional services582.8%
Healthcare562.6%
Wholesale trade172.5%
Company management21.3%
Utilities10.9%
Transport and warehousing100.9%
Arts and entertainment50.8%
Accommodation and food services160.8%
Retail trade100.4%
Finance and insurance-1-0.1%
Waste services-2-0.2%
Mining and oil extraction-2-0.8%
Other services-14-0.8%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 14.5% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 1.0% in the last year. Retail trade (10.9%), decreased by 0.3% and Accommodation and food services (9.8%), increased by 1.9%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Agriculture and forestry1087.3%
Construction9686.2%
Mining and oil extraction6565.3%
Real estate and rental1673.5%
Waste services3413.0%
Accommodation and food services5881.9%
Professional services2351.8%
Educational services281.1%
Healthcare4581.0%
Transport and warehousing2071.0%
Wholesale trade590.9%
Manufacturing760.5%
Retail trade-128-0.3%
Company management-30-1.0%
Utilities-31-1.4%
Other services-182-1.8%
Arts and entertainment-133-2.5%
Finance and insurance-225-3.3%
Information-342-6.0%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Mining and oil extraction paying $2,363per week compared with the state average of $1,032. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $14 or 0.6%. Company management ($1,763), rose by $121 or 7.4% and Utilities ($1,713) increased by $54 or 3.3% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Agriculture and forestry$709.0%
Wholesale trade$817.5%
Company management$1217.4%
Information$816.8%
Construction$845.8%
Professional services$755.6%
Manufacturing$435.1%
Arts and entertainment$184.3%
Healthcare$393.8%
Transport and warehousing$393.3%
Utilities$543.3%
Educational services$192.9%
Waste services$212.4%
Accommodation and food services$102.2%
Real estate and rental$182.1%
Other services$141.8%
Retail trade$111.8%
Finance and insurance$100.8%
Mining and oil extraction$140.6%


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 1,190 employing 18,823 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 10 more businesses, an increase of 0.8% in the last year. Residential building construction (2.1% of businesses) added 25 businesses, an increase of 5.6% and Offices of physicians (1.9% of businesses) had 10 fewer businesses, a decline of 2.4% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Trusts estates and agency accounts5250.0%
Marketing research and public opinion polling466.7%
Soft drink and ice manufacturing457.1%
Management training555.6%
Direct mail advertising150.0%
Appliance and electronics merchant whls.150.0%
Residential developmental disability homes1346.4%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Residential building construction255.6%
Services for the elderly and disabled2521.7%
Computer systems design and related services237.1%
Engineering services155.8%
All other miscellaneous store retailers1310.5%
Electrical and wiring contractors135.9%
Rv parks and recreational camps136.8%


Employees by Industry

Residential building construction (2.1% of employees) added 25 employees, an increase of 5.6% and Offices of physicians (1.9% ofemployees) had 10 fewer employees, a decline of 2.4% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
All other chemical preparation manufacturing26195.1%
Metal tank heavy gauge manufacturing2198.9%
Inland water transportation13678.3%
Other travel arrangement services9069.4%
Other business support services9953.6%
Sand gravel clay and refractory mining7049.2%
Public relations agencies1440.4%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Commercial building construction57722.1%
Support activities for mining5198.6%
Offices of physicians3784.5%
General medical and surgical hospitals3442.8%
Hotels and motels except casino hotels3284.1%
Wired and wireless telecommunications carriers32110.6%
Scenic and sightseeing transportation water28334.6%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Internet publishing and web search portals, paying $3,132 compared with the state average of $1,032. Employees in the Internet publishing and web search portals industry were paid $2,263 more per week, an increase of 260.4% in the last year. Securities brokerage ($2,789) and Couriers and express delivery services ($2,264) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Securities brokerage ($2,789 per week) were paid $82 more per week, an increase of 3.0% and Couriers and express delivery services ($2,264 per week) were paid $51 more per week, an increase of 2.3% 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$2,263260.4%
Data processing hosting and related services$49639.4%
Petroleum bulk stations and terminals$37129.2%
Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers$34227.4%
Metal merchant wholesalers$26026.4%
Management training$22725.1%
Fish and seafood merchant wholesalers$18825.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Internet publishing and web search portals$2,263260.4%
Data processing hosting and related services$49639.4%
Petroleum bulk stations and terminals$37129.2%
Geophysical surveying and mapping services$35521.3%
Steel and precast concrete contractors$34824.9%
Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers$34227.4%
Power and communication system construction$33522.1%


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 92.4%. (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 places1,1900.8%
Residential building construction4755.6%
Offices of physicians415-2.4%
Computer systems design and related services3487.1%
Accounting and bookkeeping services3281.2%
Hotels and motels except casino hotels3040.3%
Commercial building construction2992.7%
Offices of dentists2972.4%
All other amusement and recreation industries2912.5%
Engineering services2745.8%


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 places18,8230.9%
General medical and surgical hospitals12,7842.8%
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters9,4681.2%
Offices of physicians8,7904.5%
Seafood product preparation and packaging8,572-1.8%
Hotels and motels except casino hotels8,4814.1%
Support activities for mining6,5868.6%
Scheduled air transportation4,963-1.8%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores3,944-1.5%
Engineering services3,5436.4%


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

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Internet publishing and web search portals$3,132260.4%
Securities brokerage$2,7893.0%
Couriers and express delivery services$2,2642.3%
Investment advice$2,1884.4%
Oil and gas pipeline construction$2,17314.8%
Other heavy construction$2,1685.6%
Computer and software merchant wholesalers$2,126-7.5%
Other technical consulting services$2,10711.0%
Highway street and bridge construction$2,0995.2%
Building inspection services$2,085-1.4%




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.