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Oil prices in Alaska have surged to their highest levels in a decade. But job numbers in the oil and gas industry have barely budged upward after they crashed during the COVID-19 pandemic, even as other sectors of the economy enjoy a solid rebound. Industry observers in Alaska give several reasons for the tepid job growth in the oil patch. They say it mirrors a trend in the industry nationally, a slow recovery that breaks from past practice. Companies, increasingly flush with cash, aren’t investing in oil field activity like they once did when the good times rolled. They say companies are now more likely to question big, long-term projects, as investors raise concerns about the industry’s past performance and new regulations that could result from climate change policies.