Labor Study: Alaska pay averaged below national, regional level

Posted: Tuesday, March 05, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- Annual pay earned by Alaskans in 2000 was below both the national average and the average for the five Pacific states, according to a U.S. Department of Labor study released Tuesday.

Alaska's average pay of $35,125 was below the national average of $35,296 in 2000, according to the most recent figures. It was also below the $39,583 average for the combined Pacific states of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington, the department said.

The report was compiled by the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics using data submitted by employers under state and federal unemployment insurance laws.

Average pay rose 3.2 percent in Alaska during 2000, while nationally it rose 5.9 percent, the report showed.

Mining continued to be the highest paying industry in Alaska, averaging $86,380 and retail work remained the lowest paying industry in the state at $19,729, the report showed.

Private sector employment in Alaska -- comprising 75 percent of the state's work force -- averaged $33,478 in 2000 or $1,827 below the national average, the report said.

Among the five Pacific states, Oregon and Hawaii had the lowest pay levels at $32,765 and $30,630 respectively. California and Washington had the highest pay rates at $41,194 and $37,059 respectively.

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