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Unemployment rate at 6.4 percent in May


Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in May, unchanged from April’s rate. The comparable national rate was 6.3 percent, also unchanged from the previous month.

The adjusted rate in Alaska has leveled off since late 2012, fluctuating within three-tenths of a percentage point over the past 19 months.

Alaska’s not-seasonally adjusted rate was 6.1 percent in May, down from April’s 6.4 percent and slightly below last year’s 6.3 percent.

The seasonal decline in unemployment was reflected around the state, with 24 out of 29 boroughs and census areas posting lower rates for May. In most of those areas, jobless rates fell less than one percentage point, but fluctuations were much larger in highly seasonal areas.

In the Municipality of Skagway and the Denali Borough, where tourism dominates the summer economy, rates fell by 9.6 and 10.1 percentage points, respectively. The Hoonah-Angoon Census Area’s rate dropped 9.4 percentage points in May, also due to summer tourism.

Preparation for summer salmon runs reduced the jobless rate in the Bristol Bay Borough by 4.5 percentage points and by 3.1 percentage points in the Lake and Peninsula Borough. The opposite was true farther west, where the unemployment rate increased by 6.1 and 6.3 percentage points in the Aleutians East Borough and Aleutians West Census Area, respectively. Rates jumped in these areas because of the tapering of the winter pollock season.

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