Anchorage Employment Report: December 2022
Anchorage continues to inch towards a full recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Preliminary jobs numbers for December 2022 show 145,500 jobs in Anchorage, an increase of 3,510 over December 2021, down slightly from November’s year-over-year improvement, which showed a 3,600 job increase over 2021.
Anchorage continues to gain ground relative to pre-pandemic job numbers. December 2022 trailed December 2019 by only 3,500 jobs; meanwhile November 2022 numbers were 4,100 jobs short of November 2019 and October 2022 trailed October 2019 by 5,300 jobs. A portion of this progress certainly appears to be ongoing recovery from pandemic-related job losses, but there may also be a portion that is attributable to a reluctance to reduce staffing in the slow season for fear of difficulty staffing back up to full capacity when seasonal demand returns to peak levels. (This is a phenomenon which has been documented nationally, and may help explain smaller than anticipated seasonal job reductions in several industries)
Pandemic-driven job losses are not the only jobs Anchorage is currently trying to recover, however. Each year between 2012-2015, Anchorage averaged more than 155,000 jobs, whereas prior to 2020 you would have to go all the way back to 2007 to find a year when Anchorage had an annual average of fewer than the 150,000 jobs we averaged in 2019.