As you read this also keep in mind that everything costs twice as much up here.
Courtesy of ADN:
Alaska is in the fourth year of a statewide recession. It has the nation’s highest unemployment rate and, since 2015, the fastest rate of job losses. And its weak economy is particularly vulnerable to a prolonged government shutdown – the federal impasse has sidelined more federal workers per capita there than in any other state. (The District of Columbia is higher.)
About 5,700 of Alaska’s 15,100 federal employees are likely affected by the shutdown – about 1.7 percent of its entire workforce, according to an analysis of federal data by the Post’s Ted Mellnik, Laris Karklis and Kevin Schaul. That’s more than three times the national rate.
Hundreds of those workers applied for unemployment benefits in the three weeks ending Jan. 11, according to Patsy Westcott, employment and training services director at the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. That’s up from 40 such claims in November. Westcott said she expects the claims to be “higher than normal” for the duration of the shutdown. It’s one of many small signs the shutdown is beginning to take a toll in the state, especially in its vital fishing industry.
Most (61 percent) of Alaska is government land managed by five different federal agencies, according to the congressional Research Service. The state’s main industries, including fishing, tourism and oil and gas, all depend on the day-to-day actions of federal workers and regulators.
The article goes on in some depth to explain how workers in each individual federal agency are being fucked by this shutdown, but for our purposes it is enough to recognize that we are all, in some way, being fucked by this shutdown.
Now keep in mind that Alaska is kind of like an Arctic version of Australia, in that everything up here is trying to kill you.
Currently, as I am writing this the temperature outside is a balmy 3 degrees, which means if my heat were to suddenly go off I have about five hours to get it back on before they find me frozen to my keyboard.
That is a very real possibility for hundreds of Alaskans working for the federal government, and if somebody does not do something soon there could actually be fatalities linked to this fight over border security.
Which helps to explain why at least one of our two Senators is kind of freaking out over the impasse.
The issues at our border and impasse over our immigration system weaken America but an indefinite government shutdown is equally damaging to our economy, our security and the well-being of the American people. This needs to end now.
— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) January 20, 2019
Yeah, she knows how bad this is for us, and recognizes that many Alaskans are simply not able to miss even one of their paychecks.