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Alaska Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development

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The Alaska Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development is a state executive position in the Alaska state government. The commissioner is principal executive officer of the Alaska Department of Labor, which enforces state labor laws, mediates disputes between employers and employees, and develops statistics concerning the Alaskan labor market.

Current officeholder

The current acting commissioner of labor is Dianne Blumer. She succeeded Clark "Click" Bishop, who was appointed in January 2007 by Governor Sarah Palin. As the labor commissioner serves at the pleasure of the governor, Blumer does not serve a fixed term.[1] Before becoming commissioner, Bishop worked as an administrator for the Alaska Operating Engineers and Employers Training Trust.


The authority of the commissioner of labor derives from statute, which states that he or she is the principal executive office of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.[2]

Alaska Statutes, Title 44, Chapter 31, Section 10

The principal executive officer of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development is the commissioner of labor and workforce development.


Like all principal executive officers in the Alaska government, the labor commissioner must "furnish corporate surety bonds in the instance and amount required by law," the cost of which is paid by the state. Otherwise, there are no special qualifications for the office of labor commissioner.[3]

Alaska Statutes, Title 44, Chapter 23, Section 50

The principal executive officer of each department and subordinate officials shall furnish corporate surety bonds in the instance and amount required by law or determined by the governor upon recommendation of the commissioner of administration. The state shall pay the cost of the bond. The attorney general shall approve the form of the bond.


The labor commissioner, like all Alaska executive department heads, is appointed by the governor and subject to confirmation by a majority of the members of the legislature.[4]

Alaska Statutes, Title 39, Chapter 5, Section 20

The governor shall appoint the head of each principal executive department in the state government. Each appointment is subject to confirmation by a majority of the members of the legislature in joint session.

Term limits

There are no term limits for the office of labor commissioner. The officeholder serves at the pleasure of the governor.


Alaska law does not fix any particular procedure for dealing with vacancies. It is the governor's responsibility to appoint a new labor commissioner, subject to approval from the legislature.


The commissioner is "responsible for the overall management of the department's programs and resources; serves as liaison with other state, federal, and local government agencies, and the legislature; and acts on unemployment insurance appeals."[5] The commissioner's office also provides admin support to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Board, which decides appeals of penalties issued by the Labor Department to employers that violate health and safety regulations.

The Department of Labor as a whole has the following duties:[6]

  • Enforce the laws and adopt regulations under them concerning employer-employee relationships
  • Accumulate, analyze, and report labor statistics
  • Operate systems of workers' compensation and unemployment insurance
  • Gather data reflecting the cost of living in the various election districts of the state
  • Operate the federally funded employment and training programs under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (adult basic education)


The Department of Labor & Workforce Development contains several divisions:[7]

  • Office of the Commissioner
  • Administrative Services
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Labor Standards and Safety
  • Employment Security
  • Business Partnerships
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Alaska Vocational Technical Center


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

In 2012, the Alaska Commissioner of Labor was paid an estimated $135,000. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.

The commissioner's salary is bound to a range determined by statute; it must be no less than Range 28 of the Alaska executive branch employee salary schedule nor more than Range 30.[8]

Contact info


Mailing address:
PO Box 111149
Juneau, AK 99811
Phone: (907) 465-2700
Fax: (907) 465-2784

See also

External links