Going north to Alaska to work
It's sometimes –50 °C outside and polar bears are never very far away, but taxes are low and there are lots of jobs. Each resident also gets a share of the state's oil revenue every year. Alaska is suddenly the place people are talking about, and not just because of Sarah Palin.
Reality television shows such as The Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers have made Alaskans proud of their state, as they discover that other Americans are impressed by their daring jobs, outdoor lifestyles and big salaries. The recession means that people from New York to California have more time to watch TV, but Alaskans don't. A boom in oil and gas exploration and a shortage of people willing to live in the cold north means that the state has not felt the downturn as much as places further south.
"I know what they say about the environment and stuff and, sure, it's a concern, but for us it means jobs and better money," Eddy Lucas, a heavy-machinery operator in Prudhoe Bay, told the Financial Times. A recent report by the United States Geological Survey states that 44 billion barrels of oil and 300,000 billion cubic metres of natural gas may lie under the Alaska-Arctic region.
So, lots and lots of jobs now and in the future in Alaska; but if you're thinking of going there, remember that any food not shot or caught must arrive by plane if it is to be fresh, raising the prices to astronomical levels.