Health care to lead job growth through 2020

Source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Research and Analysis Section

Source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Research and Analysis Section

Alaska is expected to add nearly 39,000 new jobs over the next decade, with nearly a third in the health care and social service industry.

The state Labor Department’s employment forecast through 2020 estimates that nearly all job sectors will gain, for a total growth of 12 percent.

As Alaska’s population ages, it will drive demand for health care and social assistance jobs, a sector that has been steadily growing in the state for years.

State Economist Dan Robinson says the projections are based on existing trends.

“Our projections don’t assume radical changes to existing trends,” he says. “And the main trend is a lot more health-care related openings — some of that growth, some of that turnover, and a lot of it increased demand based on the baby boomers aging up and just Alaska’s 65-plus population getting a lot bigger.”

State economists project the second-highest growth will be in mining, at 19 percent. Mining doesn’t include oil and gas, where 5 percent growth is expected.

The ten-year state outlook can be found in this month’s Alaska Economic Trends magazine.

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