Story last updated at 12/24/2008 - 10:52 am
State labor economist Neal Fried says 2009 will bring more competition in Alaska's job market, in all skill levels.
"The national unemployment rate is higher than it has been in 15 years," Fried said in an interview Dec. 12. "It will become a more competitive labor market in Alaska than it has been in a number of years. It's likely to take a person looking for a job a longer period of time to find one, and that is very much a reflection of the national labor market. That would happen here no matter what."
Still, relative to the rest of the nation, "we will probably still be thankful we are here rather than somewhere else," he said.
Fried, a veteran economist with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, said employment in Alaska will slow in 2009 and unemployment will rise, not because of what is happening here, but as a reflection of the national labor market.