Health care jobs to see highest rate of job growth

JUNEAU, Alaska -- The health care and social assistance industry is expected to see the largest rate of job growth in Alaska this decade.

That's according to the employment forecast for 2010-2020, released by the state labor department on Monday. It estimates that Alaska will add nearly 40,000 jobs during that period, an increase of 12 percent, with nearly all sectors gaining.

Economist Paul Martz says health care and social assistance jobs will be booming through 2020, as the state's population ages, driving demand for services. That sector is expected to add nearly 13,000 jobs, and grow by 31 percent. Martz, in an article for the labor department's magazine, says the second-highest growth will be in mining, at 19 percent. Mining doesn't include oil and gas, for which 5 percent growth is expected.