Unemployment Rate at 6.4 Percent in February
Essentially unchanged from January’s 6.5 percent
JUNEAU, Alaska—Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in February, essentially unchanged from January’s 6.5 percent. The comparable national rate was 4.7 percent. The state’s seasonally adjusted rate remained steady throughout 2016 and early 2017 despite falling employment.
Preliminary estimates show employment was down by 6,500, or 2.0 percent, compared to the previous February. Substantial job losses continued in oil, construction, state government, and professional and business services, which is tied to oil and construction activity. Retail trade recorded significant losses, suggesting declining consumer spending. The only industries with notable growth were health care and local government.
February’s not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.4 percent, up two-tenths of a percentage point from January, which is a typical seasonal increase.
Across the state, unemployment rates fell in 10 boroughs and census areas, rose in 18, and remained unchanged in one. Denali Borough had the highest unemployment rate at 21.4 percent, and Aleutians East Borough had the lowest rate at 1.7 percent. Regions with winter fisheries had the lowest rates.