Alaska Local and Regional Information

ALARI Frequently Asked Questions


The data in Alaska Local and Regional Information are by place of residence – Alaska, Region, Borough/Census Area and Community – and residency is established by matching wage record file data with Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) information.

Alaska Local and Regional Information is a snapshot of an area’s resident workforce rather than a snapshot of an area’s economy. It’s more of a community profile than an economic profile. For example, all Alaska carpenters that fall within our “wage and salary” definition (are reported on an Alaska unemployment insurance quarterly report) who live in the geographic area are counted whether or not they work in the area.

The wage record file is derived from ADOLWD's Occupational Database (ODB) and contains quarterly earnings, occupation and industry information on workers covered by unemployment insurance within Alaska. The PFD file is a list of Alaskans who either applied for or received a PFD. Workers included in the ODB were considered Alaska residents if they applied for a PFD in at least one of the two most recent years. Most of the data in Alaska Local and Regional Information is for Alaska residents only; nonresidents are not included in this data.

  • ♦ For a match to occur, the worker's social security number must have appeared in both the PFD and the wage file. Workers with missing social security numbers were excluded from the analysis.
  • ♦ Alaska Local and Regional Information captures data for workers in private sector, state and local government covered by unemployment insurance within Alaska. Federal workers, military, and the self-employed are not included.
  • ♦ Workers are assigned to the occupation and industry in which they earned the most money. A person will be counted only once, even if they worked in multiple occupations.
  • ♦ The duration of a worker's employment is not a factor in the count of workers - a person is counted as a worker once they earn any wages covered under Alaska's unemployment insurance system.
  • ♦ Some data that don't reach confidentiality thresholds are suppressed.
  • ♦ Some wages may have been earned elsewhere in the state.

For more information on Alaska communities, visit Commerce, Community and Economic Development’s excellent Community Database Online at

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How do the population estimate and number of residents age 16+ differ?

The number of residents age 16+ is derived directly from PFD applicant information. Population estimates are calculated using a model that relies on PFD information as one input, but also the relationship between the PFD applicants at the time of the US census with the census count and other variables. For some places, the number of PFD applicants may exceed the estimated number of residents.

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Who are UI Claimants?

UI Claimants are persons who have had an active unemployment insurance claim in the reported year.

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What is a New Hire?

New hires are a subset of the total number of workers. If a worker is a new hire for one or more employers in the given year, they are counted as a new hire. A new hire is defined as a worker that did not work for that employer in any of the previous four quarters. New hires include turnover replacements as well as new jobs and should not be used to infer net job growth trends.

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What are Oil and Gas Occupations?

The occupations with a OIL AND GAS tag belong to a list of occupations considered significant in oil and gas industry. For more information see the Learn More About Oil And Gas Occupation page on the Alaska Job Center website.

What are Top Jobs?

For an occupation to have the Top Job tag, it must

  • ♦ Have a percent of growth greater than that for all occupations as a whole, be projected to grow by at least 75 jobs over the ten-year period 2014-2024, and must rank in the top two wage quartiles; or
  • ♦ Be among the top 50 occupations with the most projected openings and rank in the top two wage quartiles.

Occupations lacking wage data were not eligible. To view the complete list of Alaska's Top Jobs click, Alaska's Top Jobs 2014-2024.

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What are the broad industry categories?
  • ♦ Natural Resources and Mining including
    • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting
    • Mining, Quarrying,and Oil and Gas Extraction
  • ♦ Construction
  • ♦ Manufacturing
  • ♦ Trade, Transportation and Utilities including
    • Wholesale Trade
    • Retail Trade
    • Transportation and Warehousing
  • ♦ Information including
    • Publishing
    • Motion Picture and Sound Recording
    • Broadcasting
    • Telecommunications
    • Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services
  • ♦ Financial Activities including
    • Finance and Insurance
    • Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
  • ♦ Professional and Business Services including
    • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
    • Management of Companies and Enterprises
    • Administrative Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
  • ♦ Educational and Health Services including
    • Educational Services
    • Health Care and Social Assistance
  • ♦ Leisure and Hospitality including
    • Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
    • Accomodation and Food Services
  • ♦ Leisure and Hospitality including
    • Other Services including
      • Repair and Maintenance
      • Personal and Laundry Services
      • Religious, Grantmaking,Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations
      • Private Households
    • Public Administration (not state or local government)
  • ♦ State Government
  • ♦ Local Government
  • ♦ Unknown

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Where does the Population Estimates information come from?

The 2000 and 2010 population numbers area actual counts from the decennial censuses. Intervening years' numbers are estimates from administrative data (primarily the PFD), along with 2000 and 2010 Census benchmarks.

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What changes in geography have occurred since the 2000 census?

Skagway Municipality and Hoonah-Angoon Census Area:  The Municipality of Skagway incorporated as a First Class Borough on June 20, 2007. The city of Skagway dissolved and the borough boundaries are the former city boundaries. The remainder of the Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon Census Area was named the Hoonah-Angoon Census Area.

Wrangell City and Borough and Petersburg Census Area:  The City and Borough of Wrangell incorporated as a Unified Home Rule Borough on May 30, 2008. The City of Wrangell dissolved. The boundaries for the borough extend beyond the former City of Wrangell boundaries and include a portion of the former Prince of Wales-Outer Ketchikan Census Area. The remainder of the Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area was named the Petersburg Census Area.

Ketchikan Gateway Borough and Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area:  The Ketchikan Gateway Borough annexed 4,510 sq acres from the former Prince of Wales-Outer Ketchikan Census Area on May 31, 2008. The boundaries of the Census Area were redrawn and the area was named the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area.

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How are the PFD-migration data produced?

To tabulate migration by borough and census area based on the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD), PFD applicants for sequential years are compared. Migrants from a borough/census area are applicants that reported residence within that borough/census area in the first year and reported residence elsewhere in the second year. Migrants to a borough/census area are applicants that reported residence in that borough/census area in the second year and reported residence elsewhere in the first year.

Births and deaths also affect change in the number of PFD applications by year, so data from the Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics are used to make adjustments. Births in the period are subtracted from migrants to a given borough/census area and deaths are subtracted from migrants from a given borough/census area.

Due to changes in borough and census area boundaries, Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, Petersburg Census Area, and Wrangell City and Borough are combined in the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 data. Skagway Municipality and Hoonah-Angoon Census Area made up a single census area until 2008, so they are also combined in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008.

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Source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Research and Analysis Section
Last updated: 16-May-12