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Change of opinion: AEDC projects 3 more years of recession in Anchorage
was written by Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage , 2019-08-02 02:05:38
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With the possibility of massive state budget cuts still looming, the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation says it expects a recession to continue in Alaska’s largest city for another three years or more.
That’s a major reversal of opinion from January, when the AEDC was projecting Anchorage’s recession — already a three-and-a-half-year backward slide for several economic indicators — would end by now.
AEDC president Bill Popp presented a report compiled by the McDowell Group to business leaders Wednesday in downtown Anchorage.
“We look at the numbers for future expectations,” Popp said. “Where is the economy going? It has dropped precipitously.”
The McDowell Group report says, “Significant cuts to the State budget, as they stand now, essentially eliminate any chance of economic recovery…” and cites a decline in government jobs, including at the University of Alaska, and for health care sector jobs due to Medicaid spending cuts.
The recession started with collapsing oil prices, and Anchorage had been steadily recovering from those job losses, Popp said. But he and the McDowell Group report say the oil recession in Alaska was followed by a “policy-induced recession,” driven by the state government’s inability to come up with a long-term fiscal strategy. That has led to uncertainty in the business community about whether to invest, Popp said.
The AEDC report says funding cuts from Governor Mike Dunleavy’s line-item vetoes will exacerbate the recession.
Popp said the new projection of three more years of recession in Anchorage is based on several economic indicators and considers hundreds of millions of dollars in state operating budget funding hanging in the balance, awaiting a second opportunity for Gov. Mike Duneavy to veto some or all of it.
“This can change tomorrow, this can change again in a week, this can change again in a year,” Popp said. “There are any number of variables at play, they are all pretty much rooted in the policy decisions that are under debate in Juneau.”
The report forecasts a net loss of 700 jobs this year in Anchorage and a thousand next year. Popp says that would bring the city back to roughly the same number of jobs in the year 2007.
Editor’s note: Bill Popp is a member of the Alaska Public Media board of directors.
Oftentimes the most useful articles are not extensive scholastic research projects but personal stories showing individuals and small communities. Yet, ironically frequently it’s the big institutions offering the fresh and explanatory anecdotes. Of course there is also a place for travel and tourism statistical reports or policy analysis. Well written articles about going to Alaska like Change of opinion: AEDC projects 3 more years of recession in Anchorage help us to browse the broad topics of sustainable tourism.
Irrespective of whether it comes from new found awareness or social sensibilities for the most part consumers have a preference for sustainable tourism and wish to be responsible vacationers. Alaska is a region in which sustainable travel is essential.
Travel agency highly recommended trips for anybody going to Alaska includes
Gates of the Arctic National Park. It includes more than 8 million acres of isolated wilds located above the Arctic Circle. There are no roads or trails into the park. Air taxi service is available from the communities of Bettles, Coldfoot and Kotzebue. The park is also accessible by foot from the Dalton Highway. This wonderful national park has pristine wilderness, glacier valleys, rugged mountains and miles of arctic tundra. In order to experience the wonders the park has to offer visitors should be well prepared for backpacking, and back country outdoor camping. Visitors should be self-sufficient and knowledgeable, as there are absolutely no services or even established trails available. Adventurous people will appreciate the solitude and the discovery of authentic wilderness offered in the Gates of the Arctic National Park.