Kodiak new hires down from 2019, but recovering

Pandemic disrupted Alaska’s typical hiring pattern. (Source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Research and Analysis Section)

We continue to get a better idea of just how much the pandemic has affected Kodiak’s economy.

Jobs numbers released this month show a picture of Kodiak’s new hires trends before and after COVID-19 mitigation controls hit the state in 2020.

According to the Alaska Department of Labor, a new hire is a worker who appears on a payroll for the first time. So this is not a count of jobs, but a count of people hired to fill any job vacancy with an employer.

Kodiak’s total new hires in 2020 were down over 20% from 2019.

2020 started strong, with first quarter new hires at nearly 40% over 2019. That could mean that Kodiak employers either experienced greater turnover or more substantial growth, thus requiring more hires.

But by April, when businesses had to adjust to the new pandemic reality, new hires plummeted 40%, but are gradually recovering.

The Department of Labor believes that 2021 will continue to show improvement, as vaccinations increase and businesses open up, but returning to summer hiring levels is unlikely.

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