Source: Anchorage Economic Forecast Report 2024, by Anchorage Economic Development Corporation.

“Help Wanted” signs will likely remain a fixture for many Anchorage businesses in the coming years, as a declining and rapidly aging population further exacerbates the lack of workers in Alaska’s largest population center.

According to the latest Economic Forecast report by the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, the city has lost more than 17,000 working-age residents over the past decade. That amounts to an 8.5% decline.

“This population loss has likely contributed to staffing shortages across multiple industries,” the report states. “Statewide, Alaska continues to have fewer than one unemployed person for every two job openings.”

The report notes that there has been a “noticeable slowdown in the number of people moving to our city over the last several years.” This has been driven by “high housing costs, perceptions of public safety, school quality, and other community factors.”

In order to stem the flow of people leaving, while encouraging new arrivals, Anchorage will need to “invest in housing, public safety, education, and redevelopment across the community,” the report recommends.

For at least the next five years, however, Anchorage’s population is expected to continue to decline. This is due to steadily declining birth rates, and outmigration outweighing the number of new residents who are drawn to Anchorage.

Source: Anchorage Economic Forecast Report 2024, by Anchorage Economic Development Corporation.

Anchorage’s working-age population (those between 16 and 64 years old) is also affected by baby boomers aging out of the workforce, while the arrival of new residents continues to slow.

The report notes that less than half of the people born in Alaska stay in Alaska long-term, with just 48.7% of those born in the state still living in Alaska as of 2021. That’s the second lowest retention rate in the nation.

Even if the oil industry brings new residents in for work, that is not expected to outpace the rate of baby boomers aging out of the workforce, the report cautions.

Overall, Anchorage’s working-age residents represented 65% of the city’s total population in 2023, down from 69% in 2014.

The report warns that workforce shortages will dampen employment growth and economic recovery in Anchorage, even as professional and business services are poised to grow with the flow of federal infrastructure money, increased tourism travel and additional oil and gas employment opportunities in the city.

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Anchorage’s de-population bomb continues to exacerbate critical workforce shortage

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Jon and Ruth Ewig says:

    Do abortion losses weigh in on this problem? Are the pro-aborts and sodomites figuring anything out based on these statistics? Are the crooked;y-run government political policy-makers figuring anything out? Pray for revival!!. People who own businesses know what this is about!

    • Lol says:

      Here’s a thought maybe it’s people like you driving even one away

      • Lol says:


      • TruthHurts says:

        That’s an ignorant statement. You really think people are leaving Anchorage because of people who think babies should be protected? You don’t think the abortions of innocent babies are having an impact? Pull your head out.

  • Joel says:

    What young person wants to live in a state where conservatives hate them ? Defund the university and y’all wonder why all the young people are leaving.

    • H.Nelson says:

      I don’t mind shoveling in moneys in support of higher education. I do mind when education became pushing ideology over education. When higher education is churning out those who wish destroy their own country, you lost us and our support. Example- Harvard and their major loss of donors.

  • H.Nelson says:

    Anchorage- self inflicted multiple gunshot wounds. Rising taxes (wealth redistribution), the 3 year scamdemic of mandates (not laws) from the assembly (communist party), business closures, loss of 6,000 students but ASD needs more money; is the driving force.
    We used to hire young people, but the issue is getting them to come to work and actually doing work. We pretty much went to “hire over 40”. “work ethic” seems to be a 4-letter word and is not taught at indoctrination camps (schools).

  • James says:

    There are plenty of good reasons to live in Alaska, but I don’t understand why someone would move to Anchorage for anything other than a *very* compelling job offer. If a young person is looking for the mid-size American city lifestyle, there are far better options in the lower 48.

  • Sequoia says:

    What are the statistics of how many of those working age population of Anchorage are on Welfare?? Maybe we have a workforce there?