Alaska Economic Update"Resource development projects in Alaska, particularly on the North Slope, are generating more activity in exploration and overall investment than we have seen recently," said Langland. "We believe that these long-term initiatives have the potential to help slow the decline in energy production. While legislative initiatives to reform taxes on energy producers are also making progress, actual reforms are still uncertain. Positive movement on these tax issues is a critical element in the efforts to encourage the major oil producers to increase their investments in the North Slope oilfields." A review of the Alaska labor market published by the Alaska Department of Labor in the January 2013 issue of Alaska Economic Trends noted that "Alaska added jobs at a pace of 1.6% in 2012, continuing a three-year trend of employment growth that followed the end of the national recession. The state is expected to continue gaining jobs in 2013 but at a slightly more modest pace — 1.2%, or 4,200 new jobs statewide. Construction jobs increased by an estimated 4.4% in 2012 and are forecasted to stay relatively flat in 2013, with 0.6% growth. Public spending projects — including transportation, public sanitation, and education — and a slowly recovering residential real estate market have given the construction industry enough momentum to add a modest number of jobs in 2013." Northrim Bank sponsors the Alaskanomics blog to provide news, analysis and commentary on Alaska's economy. With contributions from economists, business leaders, policy makers and everyday Alaskans, Alaskanomics aims to engage readers in an ongoing conversation about our economy, now and in the future. Join the conversation at Alaskanomics.com or for more information on the Alaska economy, visit: www.northrim.com and click on the "About Alaska" tab. Balance Sheet Review Northrim's assets totaled $1.16 billion at December 31, 2012, compared to $1.13 billion three months earlier and $1.09 billion a year ago.