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August Unemployment Down

The unemployment rate for Anchorage in August was 4.8 percent, down 0.1 percent from July, according to the latest employment report released by Anchorage Economic Development Corp. and sponsored by First National Bank Alaska. This reading is well below the statewide rate of 5.7 percent and the national rate of 7.3 percent. Anchorage employment saw a total net increase of 1,150 jobs so far this year, with the oil and gas sector leading the way with a growth rate of nearly 12 percent since this time last year.

“For the last 20 years, August’s unemployment rate has averaged around 0.3 percent lower than the annual rate at the end of the year,” said Bill Popp, AEDC President and CEO. “There is a good chance the annual rate for 2013 will be below 5 percent.”

The average year-to-date non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5 percent, unchanged from July. This rate is 0.7 percent lower than the 2012 year-to-date average. The monthly unemployment rate in the Mat-Su and Kenai Peninsula Boroughs fell 14 and 15 percent, respectively, from the 2012 year-to-date average.

Anchorage industry employment shows a total net increase of 1,150 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 split evenly between federal and local governments. Industries showing the largest year-to-date growth rates are in the goods producing category, which includes oil and gas, manufacturing and construction.

The oil and gas sector averaged 375 more jobs than at this point last year, while the construction industry also saw higher job numbers. Averaging 200 more jobs over 2012’s year-to-date, the August total broke 10,000 for the first time this year and matched the highest monthly total since August 2009.

The full report is available at AEDCweb.com.

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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