Alaska Employment: Unemployment Rate Down as More Sectors Rebound
More Sectors Recover
The monthly change outpaces the drop in the national unemployment rate, which fell to 3.5 percent in December from 3.6 the month before.
The unemployment rate in the Anchorage area echoed the national rate, down to 3.5 percent in December from a revised 3.6 in November, giving it the lowest rate of any region in the state. The Interior dropped to 4.1, but Southeast Alaska rose to 4.3 percent in December. Every region had lower unadjusted rates except for the Aleutians East Borough, Copper River Census Area, Denali Borough, Hoonah-Angoon Census Area, and Northwest Arctic Borough.
Total number of jobs in Alaska ended 2022 approximately where 2019 and 2020 both started, around 310,000. Compared to a year earlier, December’s job count was up by 2.1 percent, with 6,400 more Alaskans employed than a year earlier. Nearly all industries recorded growth except for the manufacturing and state government sectors, which lost 300 and 600 jobs, respectively. However, manufacturing sector jobs now equal their pre-pandemic level.
The oil and gas sector still has the largest deficit from pre-pandemic jobs, down by 2,900 since December 2019 but adding 400 from 2021 to 2022.
The transportation, warehousing, and utilities sector is 1,400 jobs ahead of its pre-pandemic peak, thanks to the biggest percentage gain in jobs compared to December 2021, up 9 percent, or 1,800 more jobs compared to a year earlier. The leisure and hospitality sector was also up by 1,800 jobs year over year but is still 600 below pre-pandemic levels.
Sectors that have fully rebounded also include retail, with 500 more jobs than December 2019, and federal government, up by 200.