ANCHORAGE, AK (KTUU) - It was a mix of both promising and ominous projections for 2018 at the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation's economic forecast.
Anchorage is expected to lose an estimated 1,000 jobs this year, significantly down from losses in 2017.
Bill Popp, AEDC President & CEO, said Anchorage lost 2,100 jobs last year, but with losses slowing, it could mean a positive sign that the end of Alaska's recession is near.
"I think we're seeing a lessening of the recession, which is a good thing, I think we are seeing some opportunities in some industry sectors," Popp said. "We know that the oil and gas industry job numbers we think are going to flatten out this year or even grow a little bit."
Darl Schaaff, CEO of Art Services North, said his business suffers when business confidence isn't strong.
"When corporations are cutting back, we are one of those things they cut because we help them plan things like special events corporate events corporate parties fundraisers," Schaaff said.
Despite seeing a downturn over the past 2 years, Schaaff said he is hopeful for a brighter year.
"We're feeling very, very good about our clients we started the year with some big success already there was some down turn the last 2 years and we've seen some of those clients turn around pretty fast so we're very excited very enthusiastic," Schaaff said.
One looming barrier toward increasing business confidence could be the state legislature's budget battle.
Ron Duncan, CEO & Founder of GCI said fiscal uncertainty makes it less likely he'll be able to continue investments in the state.
"I think if they essentially adjourn again without doing anything in a structured fashion that the economy will continue to decline businesses like mine are not able to continue investing in Alaska if we can't see some stability in the state budget," Duncan said.
Popp said until fiscal certainty from state government happens, the state could linger in a recession for at least another year.