September Jobs Up 0.6 Percent From Last Year; Unemployment Rate at 6.2 Percent
JUNEAU—Alaska’s employment was up an estimated 0.6 percent in September, or 2,000 jobs, from September 2018. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 6.2 percent while the comparable national rate dipped to 3.5 percent.
Military projects in the Interior, increased oil and gas activity, and tourism continue to drive mild but widespread job growth. Construction gained the most jobs (800), followed by oil and gas (500), leisure and hospitality (400), and professional and business services (400).
Alaska had 400 fewer state government jobs in September than it had a year ago due to losses in the university system as it adapts to major cuts in state funding. Local government was down 100 jobs and federal employment was flat over the year despite the US Census Bureau hiring short-term workers in preparation for the 2020 Census.
The not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate followed the expected fall pattern, with rates rising in nearly all boroughs and census areas. Fishing and tourism drove the lowest rates, with the Aleutians East Borough at 2.2 percent, the Aleutians West Census Area at 3.1 percent, and Skagway at 3.1 percent. Rural areas without fishing or tourism had the highest rates. Kusilvak Census Area was highest at 16.2 percent, and rates topped 10 percent in the Bethel Census Area, Northwest Arctic Borough, and Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area. Urban areas’ rates were below the statewide average, with Anchorage at 5.0 percent, Fairbanks at 4.9 percent, and Juneau at 4.0 percent.
Become an Industry Sponsor
In This Issue
The Marx Bros. Café
Jack Amon and Richard “Van” Hale opened the doors of the Marx Bros. Café on October 18, 1979; however, the two had already been partners in cuisine for some time, having created the Wednesday Night Gourmet Wine Tasting Society and Volleyball Team Which Now Meets on Sunday, a weekly evening of food and wine. It was actually the end of the weekly event that spurred the name of the restaurant: hours after its final service, Amon and Hale were hauling equipment and furnishings out of their old location and to their now-iconic building on Third Street, all while managing arguments about equipment ownership, a visit from the police, and quite a bit of wine. “If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘A Night at the Opera” starring the Marx Brothers, that’s what it was like,” Hale explains.