The erosion of state jobs
By Sen. Kim Elton
January 12, 2008
I've asked the governor's chief of staff to freeze any proposed
transfer of state jobs from Juneau to points north unless the
governor has given her approval.
This request for a freeze was
not made lightly. Data provided by the Alaska Department of
Administration, Division of Personnel, shows 136 existing state
jobs were transferred from Juneau in the last 18 months. Many
of the 136 jobs that left are policy or supervisory jobs. Almost
100 of the 136 jobs were moved during the first year of the Palin
administration -- just 37 were moved in the last six months of
the Murkowski administration.
The economic impact on Juneau
is significant though local reaction largely has been silent.
Juneau rallied to, so far, stop the transfer of 24 federal Bureau
of Indian Affairs jobs north. One-by-one, though, we've lost
more than five times that number of state jobs, by slow transfer,
in the last 18 months. Juneau rallied to protest the transfer
of 44 marine highway jobs from Juneau several years ago. But
the loss of those 44 ferry jobs is less than a third of what
has been moved from Juneau in the last 18 months.
Job transfers from Juneau,
by the numbers:
- 136--number of state jobs
transferred from Juneau in the last 18 months.
- 33--number of commissioners,
deputy commissioners, special assistants to commissioners and
the governor, and division directors moved from Juneau in the
last 18 months.
- 33--number of other exempt
and supervisory jobs moved from Juneau in the last 18 months.
- 48.5--percent of state jobs
transferred from Juneau that are policy or supervisory jobs.
- $4,716--average monthly salary
of state jobs transferred from Juneau in the last 18 months.
- $641,376--Average monthly
state payroll lost in Juneau in the last 18 months because of
jobs transferred out of the capital.
(The above numbers are taken
from data provided by the Alaska Division of Personnel. The
average monthly salary and monthly payroll lost in Juneau during
the last 18 months is very conservative for two reasons: 1)
data on many of the jobs moved just indicated pay range but
not salary step within the pay range so those salaries were
calculated as step A, the lowest salary step; and 2) there are,
apparently, high-paying positions filled outside Juneau though
the job has not been officially transferred--those jobs do not
show up as transferred by the Division of Personnel.)
The 2007 state of Juneau's
- 0--the growth of Juneau's
population from 2000 to 2006. 4.3--percent of increase in total
Juneau employment from 2000 to 2006.
- 8.9--percent of increase in
total Alaska employment from 2000 to 2006.
- 10--percent of decline in
Juneau's public school students since 1999.
- 23--percent of rise in Juneau's
per capita income from 1995.
- 39--percent of rise in Alaska's
per capita income from 1995.
- -1.7--percentage loss of Juneau
population between 2005-2006.
- +.4--percentage gain of population
in Ketchikan between 2005-2006.
(The above numbers are from
the Juneau Economic Development Council's August 2007 Economic
About: Sen. Kim Elton is a
member of the Alaska Legislature representing Juneau.
Received January 11, 2008 -
Published January 12, 2008
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