Alaska Economic Trends 2018 - P.O.W. Report

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Alaska Economic Trends 2018

This month's edition is actually pretty interesting although I will once again state that 'per capita' statistics are always completely disingenuous. For example the 'mortgage debt' per capita statistic is at $41,580 now how 'they' measure it is by taking the mortgage debt of homeowners and then averaging it over the ENTIRE AK POPULATION. The article even mentions this fact:

Limitations of per capita data

Because per capita debt is simply a measure of total debt divided by a state’s total population, readers should be careful not to draw faulty conclusions about how their personal levels of mortgage, student loan, or other debt compare to the data in this article. The average Alaska mortgage holder will owe significantly more than the roughly $41,580 shown here. That’s because some Alaskans don’t hold mortgage debt, such as children, renters, and people who have paid off their mortgages. Similarly, the $4,070 in student loan debt per capita for Alaskans is much less than the average owed by people with student loan debt. While other data sets show how a person’s student loan debt compares with other students and the average level of mortgage debt among mortgage borrowers, the numbers in this article are not meant for that pur-
pose. Here, the per capita data allow macroeconomic comparisons over time for Alaska as well as between
states of varying sizes.

I know that they qualify the per capita saying it helps economists measure trends over-time, however to the average reader (and especially non-homeowner) it leaves them thinking that things aren't 'as bad as they really are.' Meaning, if you are going into the trouble of measuring mortgage and student loan debt already, why not just measure the people who hold those debts in the first place and not factor in non-debt holders? That's the information that people are actually curious to read and the information that matters.

Another interesting segment was that SE had the smallest net loss of jobs and POW actually gained jobs!

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