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Alaska's Unemployment 8.8 Percent in December


Alaska’s December seasonally adjusted unemployment
rate was 8.8 percent. November’s preliminary
rate was revised down three-tenths of a percentage
point to 8.4 percent.
The comparable national unemployment rate for
December was 10.0 percent.
That marks the 12th month Alaska’s rate has remained
below the nation’s. The last time that happened
was in the early 1980s when the U.S. was in
the midst of a very deep recession and Alaska was
in the middle of an economic boom.
All the state’s regions saw higher over-the-year unemployment
rates in December. In Southeast, the
rates were higher because of employment losses in
leisure and hospitality, construction and retail. In
the Gulf Coast, it was losses in the oil, and leisure
and hospitality industries. In the Northern region,
declines in the oil industry took their toll. In the
Interior and Anchorage/Mat-Su regions, a long list
of industries contributed to higher unemployment.
Another factor contributing to the rising jobless rate
is the growth in the number of job seekers. Because
Alaska’s relative employment picture remains better
than most of the nation’s, fewer Alaskans are leaving
the state looking for employment prospects elsewhere
in the country and more job seekers are coming
north looking for employment opportunities.
In December, over-the-month and over-the-year
wage and salary employment were down. The seasonal
losses in December are typical, led by seasonal
losses in seafood processing, construction,
and leisure and hospitality.
December marks the ninth month in a row of overthe-
year employment losses. As 2009 progressed,
the number of industries with employment losses
grew. By December only educational and health
services – more specifi cally health care and social
assistance – and government remained positive.
January 22, 2010 No. 10-06
Contact: Neal Fried, Economist (907) 269-4861
Research and Analysis’ Web site: laborstats.alaska.gov
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