Anchorage wages continue strong; average pay tops nation's

Posted: Wednesday, August 02, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Anchorage workers earned about $3 more per hour than the national average, according to a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But Alaska had the lowest annual wage increase of any state in 1998 -- up just 2.1 percent for the year, according to a separate report released recently.

''Your wages are still among the highest in the country,'' said Nancy Treadwell, a regional economist with the bureau's San Francisco office. The bureau is a division of the U.S. Department of Labor.

Anchorage workers earned, on average, $18.87 an hour in November, the bureau said. That was more money per hour in all industry categories except sales.

White-collar workers averaged $21.14 per hour and accounted for 65 percent of the employees in Anchorage.

Blue-collar workers averaged $17.32 per hour and represented 15 percent. The rest of the workers surveyed were in the service sector and averaged $12.07 per hour.

Police, fire and other protective service workers earned significantly more than the national average, the agency said. They made on average $22.75 per hour. That compared with the national average of $14.36 per hour.

Electricians, mechanics and construction workers also had some of the highest wages when compared with the U.S. average. They averaged $23.82 per hour, compared with $16.58 nationally, the survey said.

Anchorage sales employees, however, made $12.61 per hour, lower than the U.S. average of $13.28.

''This data is very helpful for the business community and employees when they're trying to come up with competitive wages,'' Treadwell said Tuesday.

The agency's survey looked at the wages of nearly 56,000 workers at 104 Anchorage companies with 50 or more employees. It excluded jobs in agriculture, the federal government, self-employment and households.

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