Construction continues on the F-35A Flight Simulator Facility at Eielson Air Force Base Tuesday, October 17, 2017.

Fairbanks expects job growth in 2018

By Robin Wood, Daily News-Miner

FAIRBANKS — State job forecasts predict the Fairbanks North Star Borough will be Alaska’s only region to see employment gains in 2018, in large part thanks to construction at Eielson Air Force Base.

According to a report from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the borough will see 0.8 percent employment growth in 2018, while statewide employment is expected to drop 0.5 percent. Between 2016 and 2017, Fairbanks saw employment decrease by 0.9 percent.

Slowdowns in construction tied to oil and gas development and state government spending are the biggest factors hurting jobs in Alaska, according to the report.

In Fairbanks, the number of construction jobs is expected to grow by 7.7 percent this year. Preparation for the arrival of two F-35 squadrons is “the biggest known positive economic development for Fairbanks and Alaska overall in 2018,” according to the report.