More Alaska Jobs in Weed and Mining

Alaska is slowly regaining the thousands of jobs lost during the pandemic, but it may take a few more years for the state to return to 2019 levels of employment, Alaska Public Media reports. An October report from the state labor department said Alaska ranked 47th in the U.S. for job recovery from 2019 through the first half of 2022.

Paul Martz is an economist with the state of Alaska. He looked at 10-year industry projections for the state in the October Trends newsletter. He says the oil and gas industry was already losing jobs in the years leading up to the pandemic.

But the mining and weed business is on the rise.

"Most of the growth we [project] for mining in Alaska is expansion of existing mines. There is a few specific example, but almost all of the operating mines in the state are undergoing or have recently undergone exploration and expansion projects into the surrounding areas", Martz said.

The weed industry has seen robust growth, even through 2021.

"The pandemic only really slowed it down slightly. If there is a saturation point for this industry in the market, we do not see any evidence of it now. And it is a very new industry, so the actual number of jobs is not really all that much, Martz said in the interview.