Alaskans Are Getting Their Smallest Oil Dividend In Years

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Alaska’s Permanent Fund, which gives a cut of state royalties from North Slope oil fields to each resident, will pay out the smallest dividend since 2005, Reuters’ Yereth Rosen reports.Alaskans will receive $878, down from $1,174 last year and only slightly more than the $845.76 paid out seven years ago. The highest dividend paid was in 2008, when the state paid $2,069, Rosen says.

The reduced amount reflects stock market losses in recent years, he writes. The dividend is calculated using a five-year weighted average of investment.

While perhaps still a novelty for the rest of the country, the thrill of living off the fat of the land has long worn off in the state itself.

“As every year marches on, we treat it more and more like we would a paycheck,” Neal Fried, an economist with the Alaska Department of labour and Workforce Development, tells Rosen. “I would suspect that new arrivals treat it quite differently than those who have been here a long time.”

The fund is currently valued at $42.68 billion, Rosen writes, largely unchanged in fiscal 2012, gaining a return of only 0.2 per cent for the year, according to officials.

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