At the start of 2021, AEDC was hopeful that declining COVID-19 case counts, a successful vaccination campaign, and further federal relief would drive economic recovery in Anchorage. The spread of COVID-19 variants (delta and omicron) added new uncertainties, health concerns, and supply chain disruptions worldwide. Across many sectors, labor shortages likely further constrained the pace of recovery. Despite these setbacks, a growing transportation sector, strong (non-cruise) visitation in summer 2021, and other employment gains were bright spots in a year of slow recovery. Passage of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in late 2021 is another source of optimism and should boost professional services and construction in the coming year and beyond.
As detailed in this forecast, AEDC expects Anchorage to regain 2,400 more jobs in 2022 but remain below pre- pandemic employment levels. The pace of recovery is likely to match that of 2021 . Ultimately, however, recovery will depend on how quickly COVID eases its grip on the economy. In particular, job growth will depend on the availability of a labor force prepared to fill open positions.
This employment forecast begins with an overview of a few key indicators, including population, unemployment rate, and the rate of inflation. The remaining sections describe the 2022 employment outlook for Anchorage’s key sectors. The forecast concludes with a few big-picture thoughts about the outlook for Anchorage’s economy.