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  6.  | Alaska Employment: 339,100 Jobs Drops Unemployment in May to 4.5 Percent

Alaska Employment: 339,100 Jobs Drops Unemployment in May to 4.5 Percent

Jun 24, 2024 | Government, News

Employment concept

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An increase of more than 9,000 jobs compared to a year before—for a third month in a row— kept the state’s unemployment rate from rising. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development puts the seasonally adjusted figure for May at 4.5 percent, down from 4.6 the month before.

2.8 Percent Job Growth

The statewide rate in May compares to the national rate of 4 percent, which was a slight increase from April. Rates have more than recovered from levels prior to the COVID-19 pandemic; unemployment rates in Alaska were typically higher than 6 percent prior to the oil price crash of 2014.

The unadjusted unemployment rate in the Anchorage area fell to 3.9 percent in May, down from 4.1 in April. The only region with a lower rate was Southeast, down from 4.1 percent to 3.5 in May, mostly reflected by seasonal hiring in Haines and Skagway. From near 8 percent unemployment claims in April, both towns dropped to 5.7 percent in Haines and 3.1 percent in Skagway. Only Juneau’s 3 percent and Sitka’s 2.9 percent were lower.

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Alaska Business July 2024 Cover

July 2024

The total number of nonfarm jobs in May was 339,100, up by more than 10,000 from April and an increase of 9,300 compared to May 2023. Jobs added in the past year represent 2.8 percent growth. Private sector employment grew by 3.2 percent since last year, outpacing government job growth of 1.5 percent.

The information services sector held steady month to month, but the drop from 4,600 jobs a year ago to 4,400 in April represents a 4.3 percent contraction, the largest of any industry. Financial activities was the only other sector to lose jobs year-over-year, from 11,000 to 10,900, yet financial employment was up by 100 in May compared to April. Both sectors have seen long-term losses.

The construction sector saw the biggest percentage gain, with 14.5 percent more jobs in May than the year before, climbing from 17,300 to 19,800. Those 2,500 new jobs outpaced strong growth in the healthcare and transportation, warehousing, and utilities sectors. Oil and gas jobs increased by 700 since 2023, totaling 8,100 in May.

Alaska Business Magazine July 2024 cover
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Best of Alaska Business 2024
July 2024
Welcome to the 2024 Best of Alaska Business special section! For the ninth time we invited our readers to tell us which Alaska businesses they love the most, this year in forty-four categories. Throughout the month of March, you told us who should be featured in these pages, and we're thrilled to be able to publish the results.
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