Alaska Economic Trends May 2016 - P.O.W. Report

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Alaska Economic Trends May 2016

My highlights from this Month's issue [You can read the Full Source Here]

[POWEditor:] I must interject before I continue and say that I will not review the first 1/4th of this issue because it discusses the Alaska Gender Pay Gap which is just false and the Commissioner "Heidi Drygas" is way off in her frankly insulting and statistically incorrect assumption when she writes: 
Alaska women make 67 cents on the dollar compared to men’s wages.
This statement is false and disgusting because it continues to propagate the lie that women aren't paid the same as men working the same jobs. To be clear the REASON why this 67cents or 79cents number keeps coming up is because the politicians take ALL the different jobs lumping together coal miners, oil field workers, cops, firefighters with secretaries, waitresses, and teachers and then divide the average pay of men [whom work harder more dangerous jobs thus getting paid more] with the average pay of women [whom work safe, non-dangerous jobs thus getting paid less]. If one does an actual comparison of men and women working the SAME job, one would find that WOMEN actually get paid MORE.

This is just a simple fact and I am not trying to shove down a political agenda [Unlike this month's Issue of AK Economic Trends---which I generally love to read] but rather shed light on a myth that simply will not go away...So without further ado: 

Alaskans with Disabilities

Eleven percent of Alaska’s population and 12 percent of the nation’s have a disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The most common type is difficulty walking or climbing stairs, which affects about 48 percent of Alaskans with a disability. (See Exhibit 1.) The other types are hearing (37 percent), vision (18 percent) and cognitive (35 percent). And of the 76,302 Alaskans with a disability, 33,360 have more than one.

Although people who are 65 and older make up just 9 Alaskans Disabilities with percent of Alaska’s population, they represent 32 percent of all Alaskans with disabilities. The senior population is projected to nearly double over the next 25 years, and as Alaska ages, the overall rate of disability is expected to increase.

The importance of age structure is also reflected in regional disability rates. The Gulf Coast and Southeast regions, which have higher median ages and larger shares of the population 65 and older, also have higher disability rates. (See Exhibit 3.) The regions with particularly young populations — Northern and Southwest — have slightly lower rates. Still, in terms of numbers, most Alaskans with disabilities live in the state’s population centers. Anchorage was home to 28,357 people with disabilities, followed by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough (10,539), Fairbanks North Star Borough (9,669), and Kenai Peninsula Borough (8,122).

The Working-Age Population and Unemployment 

Monthly data from the Current Population Survey,which comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,are one of the inputs for the unemployment rate calculation, but because of the survey’s small sample size,monthly CPS data can’t stand on their own. We can,however, take a closer look at the status of Alaska’s working-age population if we average survey responses across an entire year.The primary purpose of the CPS is to count the number of employed and unemployed people 16 and older who aren’t in the military or institutionalized. It sounds fairly straightforward – just ask people if they’re working or not working, right? But the concepts are more

540,300 Alaskans made up the civilian,non-institutional population, which is the baseline for
calculating the employment-to-population ratio and the labor force participation rate.People in this target population are either in the labor force or not in the labor force. The labor force is the sum of people who are either employed or unemployed,which is where things begin to get tricky.

Unemployed vs. employed

The CPS has strict criteria for being defined as unemployed.The first requirement is that a person does not have a job but is available to work and has actively looked for a job in the prior four weeks. Actively looking for work can include, for example, interviewing for a job, contacting an employment agency, submitting resumes or filling out applications, and checking union registers. Passive job searches, such as attending job training or reading the job listings in the newspaper,
don’t qualify because they don’t connect a job seeker with an employer.

Being employed is easier to determine. Anyone qualifies who worked for pay or profit during the survey reference week, whether full time, part time, or temporarily. Some people who did not work during the reference week are also considered employed, such as people who are on vacation, ill, temporarily lacking child care, on parental leave, taking care of other family or personal obligations, involved in a labor dispute, or prevented from working by the weather.

Read More: Alaska Economic Trends February 2016

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