Alaska economist discusses government shutdown effects
The federal government shutdown beginning this weekend will affect Alaska more than most other states across the nation. That's because federal employees are a big part of Alaska's economy.
According to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Alaska has about 15,100 federal employees and 20,800 military service members. Federal spending makes up more than a fifth of the state's gross domestic product -- nearly 22 percent.
With those funds in jeopardy, state economist Neal Fried discussed the potential impacts of a prolonged government shutdown on Alaska's delicate economy. He compared it to a 2013 federal shutdown, which ended up lasting 16 days and proved to be a "blip" on the state economy.
"In 2013, our economy was growing and it was doing relatively well," Fried said. "So when we look back on it -- in the middle of it we weren't sure, because the real question even then, just like now, is 'How long is this going to last?'"
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