DATE:  Oct. 10,  2001     NO: 01-82

CONTACT: Jeff Hadland   PHONE: (907) 465-6031 

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

News Release


ALASKA OCTOBER ECONOMIC TRENDS
Issue highlights gender gap in earnings, race and ethnicity in Alaska

October's issue of Alaska Economic Trends highlights two studies from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development: An examination of the gender gap in employment and earnings in Alaska, and an analysis of the shifting race and ethnic character of the state.

Labor economist Jeff Hadland reports that females made up 47.8% of all Alaska workers in 1999, significantly less than the 52.2% of workers that were male and females in Alaska earned 68.8% as much as males in 1999, a 5-percentage point increase since 1988. "Much of the gap may be related to different employment patterns between men and women and the wide range of wage rates among occupational groups and industries," Hadland said. 

Females were much more likely to be found working in Finance, Insurance and Real Estate; Services; and Government sectors than the traditionally male dominated mining and construction industry sectors. Only about 12 percent of workers in the construction industry in 1999 were female.

According to Hadland, the difference in average annual wages between the genders in Alaska in 1999 was $10,000. The top female occupations in Alaska include general office occupations, waitresses, maids, administrative support, administrative assistants, counter clerks, bartenders, accountants and auditors, information clerks, billing clerks, record clerks, welfare service aides, and short order cooks. For males, the top occupations are manual occupations, sales clerks, automobile mechanics, electricians, guards and police; sheriffs, bailiffs and other law officers; secondary school teachers, supervisors, civil engineers, garage and service station, attendants, amusement and recreation facilitators; engineers and managers. 

Also in this month's edition of Trends is a comparison of how racial distributions have shifted in Alaska, based on results of the 2000 Census. According to state demographer Greg Williams, a declining share of Alaska's population is non-Hispanic White, and a noticeable proportion of all races other than White consider themselves to be multi-race. Williams also says Alaska Natives, Asians and Hispanics account for over half of the growth of the state's population during the last decade. Williams noted that the share of Alaska's Hispanic or Latino population and its change since 1990 are most concentrated in the Municipality of Anchorage, followed by the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Mat-Su Borough, Juneau Borough, Kodiak Peninsula Borough, and Aleutians West Census Area. The Alaska Native population, while the most dispersed, became more concentrated with 82% spread over 12 boroughs or census areas, up from 76.2% in 1990.

On the employment scene, labor economist Neal Fried reports a mixed economic and employment picture around the state, with Alaska's urban centers showing the strongest growth. Alaska Economic Trends is available online.

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