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July 2013 unemployment follows downward trend


The unemployment rate in Anchorage fell from 5.3 percent in June to 4.9 percent in July, according to the latest employment report released by the Anchorage Economic Development Corp. This decrease is typical for July, and marks the beginning of what is usually a downward trend in the unemployment rate each year. The oil and gas sector leads the way in job growth, with 400 more jobs than at this time last year, equaling a growth rate of nearly 13 percent.

“The July unemployment rate is a good indicator for the year’s final reading,” said Bill Popp, president and CEO of AEDC. “In fact, over the last two decades, the July rate has been within 0.3 percent of the year’s annual rate.”

The average year-to-date non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 0.1 percent from June to a rate of 5 percent for July. This rate is 0.8 percent lower than the 2012 year-to-date average. The monthly unemployment rate in the Mat-Su and Kenai Peninsula Boroughs also fell 15 and 14 percent, respectively, from the 2012 year-to-date average.

 Anchorage industry employment shows a total net increase of 1,243 jobs so far in 2013 from the 2012 year-to-date average. Private sector jobs have grown by 1.6 percent while government employment has declined by 800 jobs so far this year, with losses evenly split between federal and local education sectors. Industries showing the largest year-to-date growth rates are in the goods producing category, which includes oil and gas, manufacturing and construction.

 The construction industry is also seeing higher job numbers, averaging 214 more jobs over 2012 year-to-date. Municipal building permit valuations are up more than 40 percent from this time last year and remain very high, indicating that this year’s strong start in construction has continued through the summer.

The services producing industries are up 400 jobs from 2012 year-to-date, with the educational and health services sector showing the highest growth. The Alaska Department of Labor has identified health care as the industry with the highest growth potential in the state for the next decade. Jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector are growing at twice the rate of the overall totals and both accommodation and food service sectors are seeing growth, indicating a positive trend in the tourism industry.

The full report is available at: http://aedcweb.com/aedcnew/phocadownload/aedc%20employment%20report%20july%202013.pdf.

AEDC is a private, nonprofit membership organization developed in 1987 to encourage growth and to diversify the Anchorage economy. The organization has more than 235 investors, which represent all industries in Anchorage and Alaska. For more information, visit www.AEDCweb.com.

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