Government spending impacts the economy through direct payments to employees and contractors as well as through purchases from local businesses. Our forecast contemplates spending changes from Federal, State, and Local sources.
It appears that Federal staff levels have stabilized in Alaska. The State budget for Fiscal Year 2019 does not contain further reductions in spending or staff. And preliminary numbers so far in 2018 indicate that local government employment is flat. Combined, we forecast a total government employment count of 80,500 (excluding military) in 2018. This represents a reduction of about 500 total jobs (0.6%) during the calendar year.
We are forecasting a small increase in total government employment in 2019. This increase is mostly attributable to preparation for the F-35 squadrons taking up residence at Eielson Air Force Base. There is some risk of reduced Federal staffing levels if the current federal budget cannot be sustained.
We see State government employment as generally stable moving forward, with some risk of further reductions. Local government employment appears to be level, although there is a chance of increasing employment if State services are reduced.