For Immediate Release: May 2nd, 2011
Legislators Call on Oil Group to Acknowledge Rising Oil and Gas Employment
Jobs up, but going to Outsiders
JUNEAU- In its latest numbers, the Department of Labor has contradicted claims by the Governor and oil industry members that Alaska oil and gas jobs are in decline. The department confirmed that oil and gas jobs rose to 12,900 employees in March, a 5% increase since last year. But data from the Department of Labor also shows that over 50% of the new jobs on the North Slope are going to workers who live outside Alaska.
“The ‘Make Alaska Competitive Coalition’ ads and the Governor have painted a picture of falling jobs to justify the biggest giveaway of state oil revenue in Alaska history — $8 billion in lost state revenue over the next five years. We’re calling on those behind the current ad campaign to concede oil and gas jobs have risen under ACES, not, as they imply on their TV ads, fallen,” said Rep. Les Gara, D-Anchorage. Today, that request was made in writing to Jim Jansen, who is on the industry group’s steering committee.
"Hiring non-Alaskans for work that our own people can do is wrong,” said Senator Hollis French.
"Why are these new jobs are going to Outsiders? That’s a deal breaker for me and Alaska’s workers," said Senator Egan.
All three legislators note that the Governor’s tax rollback allows companies to reduce their production tax payments with no commitment that they make any additional investments in Alaska, perform new exploratory work, or to hire Alaskans.