Unemployment Rate at 6.6 Percent in April
JUNEAU, Alaska—Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in April, two-tenths of a percentage point higher than March. The comparable national rate in April was 4.4 percent. Alaska’s rate has been the highest or second-highest among states for more than a year.
Preliminary estimates show April employment was down by 6,600 jobs, or 2.0 percent, compared to April 2016. The biggest losses were in oil and gas, which was down by 1,800 jobs, a 15 percent drop. Construction employment was down by 1,300 (an 8.4 percent decline), state government was down by 1,500 jobs (-5.8 percent), and professional and business services jobs were down by 1,600 (-5.6 percent).
Most industries lost jobs over the year, with three exceptions. Health care was up by 900 jobs from its April 2016 level (2.5 percent), local government was up by 600 jobs (1.4 percent), and leisure and hospitality was up by 400 jobs (1.3 percent).
April’s not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.0 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from March. Across the state, unemployment rates fell in 21 of 29 boroughs and census areas as most areas added seasonal jobs. Kusilvak Census Area had the highest rate at 19.9 percent. Buoyed by spring fi sheries, Aleutians East Borough had the lowest rate at 2.3 percent.