Unemployment Rate at 6.4 Percent in March 2017
JUNEAU, Alaska— Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in March, unchanged from February. The comparable national rate was 4.5 percent.
Preliminary estimates show employment was down by 7,100 jobs, or 2.2 percent, compared to March 2016. Substantial losses continued in oil, construction, state government, and professional and business services, which is tied to oil and construction activity. Health care, local government, and leisure and hospitality were the only industries with job growth.
While Alaska has been losing jobs for over a year now, employment loss doesn’t necessarily lead to higher unemployment rates. To be counted as unemployed, a person must remain in the state and be actively seeking work.
March’s not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.2 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from February, which is a typical seasonal change.
Unadjusted rates fell in all but four boroughs and census areas. Kusilvak Census Area had the highest unemployment rate at 20.4 percent. Aided by winter fisheries, Aleutians East Borough had the lowest rate at 1.8 percent.