Alaska’s 2018 Construction Spending Forecast

Construction spending in Alaska this year will be around $6.6 billion, up 4% from last year. But that overall increase is due just to a recovery in spending by the petroleum industry, which is expected to be up about 15%, to nearly $2.6 billion. Without petroleum, overall construction spending in 2018 is likely to be down about 2%, to $4.1 billion.

These estimates are from the newly released 2018 construction forecast, prepared by Scott Goldsmith, professor emeritus of economics at ISER, for the Associated General Contractors of Alaska and the Construction Industry Progress Fund. He has made these forecasts of construction spending every year since 2004.

Download Alaska's 2018 Construction Spending Forecast.

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Who Earns More: Private or Public Workers?

Mouhcine Guettabi and Andrew Bibler, both assistant professors of economics at ISER, recently compared the paychecks of people in private and public sector jobs in Alaska. Using Alaska Department of Labor data from 2001 through 2016, they found:

• Average earnings are higher in the private than the public sector. That's because men earn more than women, and men make up a bigger share of private workers—55%, compared with 43% in the public sector.

• Men who work for state and local governments earn on average about $2,000 less per quarter than men working for private businesses. The reason why is that overall, men who take public-sector jobs start out at considerably lower wages—and their wages don't catch up over time, even though they increase somewhat faster than private wages.

• Women working for state and local governments earn on average about $500 more per quarter than women in private-industry jobs. That's because overall, the starting salaries for women in public and private jobs are similar, and salaries for women in public-sector jobs grow faster as they spend time in their jobs.

Download Public and Private Sector Earnings in Alaska (PDF, 619.3KB), prepared for the Alaska Department of Administration, by Mouhcine Guettabi and Andrew Bibler. If you have questions, get in touch with Mouhcine Guettabi at mguettabi@alaska.edu or 907-786-5496 or Andrew Bibler at ajbibler@alaska.edu or 907-786-5452.

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