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Employment Down 1.3 Percent, Unemployment Rate Unchanged


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JUNEAU, Alaska—Alaska’s total employment was down by an estimated 1.3 percent in September compared to September 2016, a loss of about 4,600 jobs. Over-the-year job losses have gradually gotten smaller in 2017, however. The largest losses during the current downturn were in the fall of 2016 at -2.6 percent.

Oil and gas employment and construction were both down 6.7 percent. The only industries to add jobs were health care (1.4 percent), leisure and hospitality (0.3 percent), and local government (0.2 percent). Federal employment was flat, and other industries showed mostly modest losses.

Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 7.2 percent in September was unchanged from the prior month and remains elevated from September of last year, when it was 6.6 percent. The comparable national rate for September was 4.2 percent.

Alaska’s not-seasonally adjusted rate was 6.6 percent, up three-tenths of a percentage point from August, which is typical as seasonal work wraps up around the state. Unemployment rates were up in 21 of 29 boroughs and census areas, with notable increases in areas dependent on tourism and fishing. The largest increase was in Bristol Bay, whose rate doubled from 3.6 percent in August to 7.2 percent in September.

Unemployment rates fell in seven boroughs and census areas, and the North Slope Borough’s rate was flat. The largest decline was in Kusilvak Census Area, although Kusilvak’s rate remained the state’s highest at 17.8 percent.

View the original press release at http://labor.alaska.gov/news/2017/news17-38.pdf

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