"You are again defying the trend," State Economist Neal Fried told the Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce in his talk on the Mat-Su economy this week, citing fewer job losses here during the state recession compared to other communities.
The community of Knik-Fairview grew in population more than all of Anchorage in the last eight years. The area near Knik-Goose Bay Road now has 19,420 residents and gained close to 5,000 since 2010.
The Valley is the only place in the state that continues to gain population through migration. More people are moving in than out.
The Valley builds half of all the new homes in Alaska in 2017 even though it has 14 percent of the State's population. The State is coming out of the longest recession Alaska (not Anchorage) has ever experienced, he said. The Valley housing price advantage has changed little since the early 2000s with Anchorage homes costing 40 percent to 50 percent more than a comparable Mat-Su home, what Fried called the Mat-Su's "monster advantage."
The oilpatch lost 5,000 jobs in the recession and is just beginning to add jobs, he said.
Learn more of the numbers by listening to his audio posted here and looking over his presentation here.
Thanks to the Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce for the venue and to subject expert Neal Fried, Economist with the Alaska Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development.