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  6.  | Alaska Employment: 313,600 Jobs Puts December Unemployment at 4.5 Percent

Alaska Employment: 313,600 Jobs Puts December Unemployment at 4.5 Percent

Jan 23, 2024 | Government, News

Employment concept


The number of jobs in Alaska for 2023 ended about 6,000 higher than when the year began, yet the unemployment rate continued to rise. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development puts the seasonally adjusted figure for December at 4.5 percent, up from 4.4 in November.

Higher Rate Relatively Low

Despite increasing for the last several months, the statewide rate remains relatively low. Even before the oil price crash of 2014 sent the state economy into recession, unemployment rates were typically higher than 6 percent. The comparable national rate in December held steady at 3.7 percent.

The unadjusted unemployment rate in the Anchorage area rose in December to 4 percent, yet the Anchorage/Matanuska-Susitna Borough had the lowest unemployment of any region. The only lower rates were in the Southeast region, where Juneau saw 3.6 percent and Sitka 3.5, both slightly higher than the local rates in November. Every region saw higher rates than the year before.

The total number of jobs in December was 313,600, a slight decrease from the revised figure for November but a gain of 6,000 jobs since December 2022, a growth rate of 2 percent. Private sector employment grew by 2.3 percent during the year, outpacing government job growth of 1 percent.

State government lost 100 jobs in December compared to a year earlier, and so did the financial activities sector. The information services sector was flat for the year, but all other industries saw job growth throughout the year.

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Alaska Business April 2024 Cover

April 2024

The biggest percentage gain was in the Other category, with 600 more jobs representing 5.5 percent growth. The oil and gas sector recovered 300 jobs, for 4.1 percent growth. Federal government employment also grew by 4.1 percent, adding 600 jobs.

Leisure and hospitality also gained 600 jobs in 2023, for 1.9 percent growth, mainly in restaurants and bars, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development

In absolute numbers, the healthcare sector gained the most with 1,300 new jobs since December 2022, for 3.3 percent growth.

In the January issue of its monthly Trends publication, the department forecasts slower average monthly growth in 2024. The 1.7 percent growth rate would add about 5,400 nonfarm jobs. The oil and gas sector has the largest anticipated growth rate of 8.1 percent, adding an estimated 600 jobs over the next year. The construction sector could add 1,100, for a growth rate of 6.6 percent. The report forecasts no change in the manufacturing, information, financial activities, and federal employment sectors; however, no industry sectors are expected to lose jobs during 2024 except for seafood processing in the Southeast region.

Alaska Business April 2024 cover
In This Issue
The 2024 Corporate 100
April 2024

In their company kitchens, the Corporate 100 blend wholesome ingredients with exquisite utensils to create the scrumptious ambrosia that keeps employees gratified and contented. Meet the top Alaska employers ranked by number of Alaskans on their payroll, and learn the recipe for success. This issue also includes a focus on economic development initiatives in Anchorage and Kodiak.

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