All in our heads? According to Anchorage Economic Development Corp. CEO Bill Popp., “It’s easy to get caught up in the emotions” of Alaska’s economy right now. At an annual three-year economic outlook presentation, Popp said that the current slowdown may not be as bad as it seems. Citing net job losses, housing and population developments, Popp said there is much to work with in Alaska. That being said, Popp concluded by saying, “We need to wake up as a state and solve this critical challenge. Headlamp is disappointed that someone with an economics background would trivialize the thousands of jobs lost in the highest paying sector (oil and gas) and celebrate the creation of more government jobs. Though we are as happy as any to see new retail developments across Anchorage, the reality is that these businesses create low paying, entry level jobs that will not support a family like a job in the oil, gas, and mining sector can. Simply measuring the number of jobs lost or gained is not enough; one must examine the economic impact of each particular job. If for example, over the last year Anchorage had lost 1500 jobs consisting of doctors, lawyers, and business executives Headlamp contends that AEDC, and the rest of the Anchorage community would have a much different take on our current economic outlook. Lastly, Headlamp wonders how concerned AEDC is about the fiscal situation when they rely on hundreds of thousands of dollars from the state treasury for their operations?
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