New ISER report: Local Jobs and Income from Mineral Exploration

January 30, 2017

A new report by Bob Loeffler and Jennifer Schmidt of ISER looks at jobs and income residents of small Bristol Bay communities received during exploration at the proposed Pebble mine site from 2009 through 2012. That proposed mine is enormously controversial, because of its proximity to the world-class Bristol Bay salmon fisheries, and there has been no exploration since 2013. The authors emphasize they are neither endorsing nor opposing the proposed mine. Rather, they assessed the economic effects of Pebble exploration on local communities as a case study in how small, remote communities can capture more of the benefits of rural resource development.

They found that about 43 percent of the workers at the Pebble exploration site from 2009 through 2012 were residents of 18 small Bristol Bay communities. That totaled about 300 Bristol Bay residents over the four-year period. Residents of the seven communities closest to the exploration site got the most jobs and income, averaging 100 jobs a year and bringing nearly $1.5 million into their communities annually. Almost all the jobs were seasonal, and pay averaged $19 an hour.

Download the summary (PDF, 454KB) or the full report (PDF, 2MB). If you have questions, get in touch with Bob Loeffler at rloeffle@alaska.edu or call (907) 250-4621. You can also contact Jennifer Schmidt at jischmidt0@gmail.com or call (907) 786-5497.

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