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Alaska’s New Minimum Wage

The Alaska minimum wage will increase from $10.19 to $10.32 effective January 1, 2021. This minimum wage applies to all hours worked in a pay period, regardless of how the employee is paid (by time, piece, commission, etcetera). All actual hours worked in a pay period, multiplied by the Alaska minimum wage, is the minimum an employee can be compensated by an employer.

Please be aware that tips do not count toward the minimum wage, public school bus driver wages must be no less than twice the current Alaska minimum wage, and that certain exempt employees must be paid on a salary basis of not less than twice the current Alaska minimum wage based on a 40-hour work week in order to maintain their exempt status.

Visit Alaska’s website for more information about Alaska’s wage laws:

The CARES Act & the Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development started to issue the new $600 federal pandemic unemployment compensation to individuals impacted by COVID-19. The state notes that their first federal disbursement included $12,853,200 to 16,183 individuals currently covered by their current unemployment program.

Also, the state advised that the federal pandemic unemployment payment will be retroactive to the week ending April 4, 2020 and that the payment will be in addition to regular benefits. Individuals who have received benefits for week ending April 4, 2020, will receive a separate disbursement with the additional $600 payment. The payment will be available for each week of eligibility through July 25, 2020.

Finally, the state will begin to process applications for self-employed, independent contractors and gig economy workers on the week of April 20, 2020, with payment being issued about two weeks later. Individuals who previously filed and received ineligibility notifications will be contacted for income verification to complete their application process. The state notes that payment will be retroactively made to the week ending April 4, 2020.


Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at too.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.

Alaska Unemployment Tax Relief Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Alaska employers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak may receive unemployment tax relief under an emergency rule that took effect April 6, 2020.

Under the rule, employers may request that the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development adjust fluctuations in payroll that are directly related to the spread of COVID-19.

Alaska is the only state that utilizes the decline quotient method when calculating unemployment tax rates, which takes into account when wages paid to employees decrease from one quarter to the next. Employers generally may request adjustments to the calculation using an employer option form.

Adjusted fluctuations must occur during the emergency declaration period, which was enacted March 11, 2020 by Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

Additionally, the rule requires employers to provide former employees with information about unemployment benefits within seven of the employee’s last days of work.

Our office will be monitoring these situations closely and will send out additional announcements or make postings on our website ( as we become aware of new developments.