2023 Economic Forecast
In January of 2022, Anchorage and the world were still wrestling with significant uncertainty in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the year progressed, the national economy faced several challenges: escalating inflation, rapid interest rate increases, and labor shortages across several sectors Anchorage was not immune to these forces.
Despite these challenges, the continued recovery of Anchorage employment outpaced AEDC’s midyear employment projections. Anchorage employment averaged 144,000 in 2022. While this represents a 3,500 job (+3%) increase from 2021, Anchorage employment remained 12,000 jobs (-8%) below peak employment in 2015 and prior to the statewide recession which preceded the COVID-19 pandemic.
As detailed in this forecast, AEDC expects Anchorage to regain a further 1,550 jobs in 2023. Employment is expected to remain below pre-pandemic levels, and the pace of recovery is likely to slow compared to 2021 and 2022. Further recovery will likely hinge on the availability of workers to fill open positions. To a lesser extent, the condition of the national economy may also impact Anchorage businesses. Full employment recovery back to the 2015 peak is expected to take several more years.
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 2023 employment outlook for Anchorage’s key sectors. The forecast concludes with a few big-picture thoughts about the trajectory of Anchorage’s economy.