More Jobs in August While Unemployment Rate Holds Steady
Alaska’s unemployment rate was flat from July to August. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development puts the seasonally adjusted figure at 4.5 percent.
Closing the Gap
The rate in Alaska is converging on the national rate of 3.7 percent, which was a slight increase from July to August.
The unadjusted rate in Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough was a combined 3.2 percent, down from 3.9 in July. The Interior fell from 3.9 to 3.3 percent in August. Southeast Alaska dropped to 2.9 percent. The monthly decrease from 6.9 percent to 6.3 in the Southwest region combines the state’s highest unemployment in the Bethel and Yukon-Kuskokwim areas with the lowest in the Aleutians and Bristol Bay.
Total number of jobs increased 3.1 percent since August 2021, with 10,200 more Alaskans employed than a year earlier. That figure is a bigger improvement than the month before, yet still 13,700 jobs below August 2019.
The leisure and hospitality sector had the strongest year-over-year growth, up 10.3 percent, but the 44,500 total jobs are still 3,800 less than in August 2019. The mining and logging sector, which includes oil and gas, saw 6.4 percent growth in jobs year-over-year, with 700 added since August 2021, yet oil and gas jobs remain 2,900 jobs below August 2019.
The Department of Labor points to a few sectors that have recovered to their pre-pandemic employment: the federal government, local government including schools, healthcare, and “other services” (which excludes finance, professional, or business services).