Anchorage entered 2020 with an expectation that the four-year slide in employment, totaling 6,000 lost jobs, would finally come to an end. AEDC’s outlook was for 100 new jobs in 2020, essentially a flat forecast for an economy supporting 150,000 jobs. COVID-19 laid waste to the modest hope that the Anchorage economy would be stable (or even grow) in 2020.
Entering 2021, economic recovery will depend on the degree to which further spread of COVID-19 can be contained and the pace of community vaccination. If the pace is slow, due to limited vaccine availability or limited acceptance, or both, recovery will be delayed. If rates of infection remain low and most of the population is vaccinated by mid-year, many of the jobs lost in 2020 could be restored in 2021.
One final note. It’s a rare circumstance when we can articulate exactly how each and every citizen of Anchorage can help rebuild our economy. Today we can. Economic recovery is inseparably linked to our ongoing efforts to control spread of COVID-19 and vaccinate as quickly as supplies allow. Let’s all do our part.