Report: Alaska health care jobs projected to increase

The 2022 Alaska Economic Trends report was released this month, and includes forecasting for health care jobs statewide. 

The report was developed by the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development. In an address, Commissioner Tamika Ledbetter said the economic signs look promising for the months to come, and throughout the year. 

 

Get the latest state-specific policy intelligence for the health care sector delivered to your inbox.

 

Statewide, Alaska recovered 7,100 jobs in 2021 after losing 27,600 in 2020. In health care, jobs rose from 38,200 in 2020 to 39,100 in 2021, marking a 2.4% increase. That number is expected to grow to 39,600 jobs next year, increasing by 1.3%. 

Health care was one of the few industries that has added employment and is expected to continue doing so during the pandemic, along with federal jobs, excluding the military. Construction managed to stay at the same number of jobs between 2019 and the 2022 forecast. 

The report states: 

Health care recovered 900 jobs in 2021 as outpatient services resumed, pushing employment over 2019 levels. Hospital employment fell during 2020 and recovered some of those losses in 2021, but it remains lower. Nursing home employment held steady last year.”

In Anchorage, between 2020 and 2021, health care employment increased by 2.5% to 20,900, accounting for the majority of health care positions in the state. Health care is the city’s largest private-sector employer. The city depends on health care for a disproportionate amount of its job growth in most years, but that trend broke in 2020 with a moderate loss of 600 jobs, many of which in ambulatory care like practitioners’ offices and outpatient surgery, the report states.

The state is forecasting growth in 2022 as demand for deferred services and an aging population lead more residents to seek medical care. 

In Fairbanks, there was a 2.4% increase between 2020 and 2021, with health care employment increasing to 4,200. 

In the southeast the report states there was an increase of 3.7% in health care jobs, for a total of 2,800.