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2023 3-Year Economic Outlook Report

An important highlight of this forecast is the expectation that Anchorage’s total population will start to increase in 2023 after six years of decline. This bodes well for the effort to sustain and attract the working-age population, though demographic realities will dampen this impact. By 2026, the final year in this forecast, most “Baby Boomers” (born between 1946 and 1964) will have aged out of the working-age population. The number of people aged 18 to 64 moving to Anchorage is not expected to make up for this decline.

On a brighter note, after years of significant disruptions, Anchorage’s economy is on a new course. Over the next three years, we expect modest growth by most measures. The economy has added jobs back steadily over the last two years of recovery.

Yet as of 2022, wage and salary employment remained about 12,500 jobs below the pre-Alaska recession level in 2015. Economic indicators suggest demand for workers may still outstrip the available workforce. Statewide, job openings rose to historically high levels even as the number of unemployed people seeking work declined significantly, leaving Alaska with fewer than one unemployed person for every two job openings by the end of 2022. All of these indicators suggest that the pace of further job growth in Anchorage may yet be constrained by historically low levels of unemployment and continued decline in our working-age population.

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