Where are they today: State studies economic trends from Class of 2005
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska Department of Labor has been keeping the Class of 2005 alive through a living yearbook — but instead of pictures, this one contains data.
Since 2005, economists have been following the life decisions of 6,000 high school graduates from across Alaska. The economists examine the data in five-year intervals to get an accurate perspective on the growth students have gone through — specifically examining where students attended university, their career paths and whether or not they continued living in Alaska.
One of the major takeaways was that students who graduated from a university entered higher-paying career paths. They made roughly $20,000 more than their classmates who attended some or no college at all.
Additionally, economists discovered that students who attended a university in Alaska were more likely to continue living in Alaska after graduation.
“I think the most current year, like 2021 data, if you graduated in-state you’re 55% likely to be still here. And if you graduated somewhere else, about 25% of them were still in Alaska,” Department of Labor economist Joshua Warren said.
As the years progressed, Warren noted that fewer people left the state.
“So probably around 10 years out, we still lose people over time but it’s gotten a lot more flat as to how many people we lose every year,” Warren said.
These life choices all impact the state’s economy, specifically when it comes to Alaska’s overall population, its working-age population and its workforce.
“The amount of people staying here will definitely help the economy, finding out what encourages them to say can definitely help the state,” Warren said.
Alaska continues to seek solutions for stalling outmigration of its working-age population.
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