The Juneau economy relies on federal, state and local government employment for its base employment sectors. Mining has enjoyed a resurgence since the 1980’s, with the nation’s largest silver mine and a substantial underground gold mine both located within the borough (i.e. county). Improved prices for wild-caught salmon and halibut supports a revived fishing and processing industry, while cruise ship tourism brings a million visitors to the city every summer, supporting a broad range of shore excursions that are also enjoyed by locals. Juneau is a regional transportation hub and shopping center for northern and central Southeast Alaska, has a growing four-year liberal arts university with 1,700 full-time students, a large health care sector, and a smaller manufacturing sector that includes fish processing, boat building, roofing and framing components and a west coast regional brewery.
Juneau has a higher cost of living compared to cities in the continental United States, approximately 34% higher than U.S. averages. At the same time, the city’s higher wages tend to equalize the difference. Housing prices are comparatively higher and the housing supply is typically undersupplied. In many cases, and especially for public employees, wages are above U.S. norms. For example, federal agencies offer a 25% cost-of-living allowance.
- JEDC website: Juneau Economic Development Council
- Juneau Non-Resident Worker Survey Results by the Juneau Economic Development Council
- 2018 Economic Indicators Report by the Juneau Economic Development Council