Alaska Employment: April Unemployment Rate Steady at 3.7 Percent
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Alaska’s unemployment rate held steady in April. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD) puts the seasonally adjusted figure at 3.7 percent, the same as March.
How Low Can It Go?
The unadjusted unemployment rate in the Anchorage area is lower, at 3.4, with the municipality at 3.1 percent and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough at 4.4 percent. The state’s lowest unemployment was in the Aleutians East Borough at 1.8 percent; the Aleutians West Census Area saw 2.7 percent, comparable to Juneau and Sitka at 2.5 and 2.6 percent, respectively, both slightly lower than in March.
Every region had lower unadjusted rates in April compared to a year earlier, but a few local areas were higher, year-over-year. Haines and Prince of Wales Island are up (to 6.8 and 6.3 percent, respectively), as is the Chugach Census Area, which encompasses Prince William Sound and Cordova, rising from 3 percent last April to 4.7 percent this year.
Total number of jobs in Alaska was up by 2 percent year over year, an increase of 6,100 since April 2022. DOLWD puts total nonfarm employment at 318,600, up by nearly 5,000 from the March total.
All Alaska industries grew or remained flat over the year. The two sectors that gained the most jobs were the two hit hardest by pandemic losses. Leisure and hospitality employment increased by 1,900 jobs, and the transportation, warehousing, and utilities sector added 1,000. Both have exceeded pre-pandemic job levels.
The public sector added jobs over the year, led by the federal government adding more than 500. Local government, which includes public schools, was up by 400 jobs and state government was up by 100 jobs.
All industries added jobs except for the information sector, which was flat for another month in a row, with the same 4,700 jobs as in April 2022.
Architecture & Engineering Special Section + Small Business
In the February 2024 issue of Alaska Business, we engineered a special section that inspects the many ways architecture and engineering enrich our lives, from creating beautiful and functional spaces to crafting functional and safe transportation corridors. In addition to the built world in which we live, this issue celebrates small businesses and the many functions they provide, whether they're developing tools in the healthcare industry or opening new dining locations.