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Unemployment Down to 6.1 Percent in October

Nov 19, 2021 | Government, News

Economics

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Alaska’s unemployment rate went down in October compared to the previous month.

The state Department of Labor & Workforce Development puts the seasonally adjusted rate at 6.1 percent in October, a slight decrease from the 6.3 percent of September and approximately the same level of unemployment Alaska saw from 2015 through 2017.

Not Quite Back to Pre-Pandemic Level

The rate in Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough was a combined 4.9 percent, down a tenth of a point from September and a decrease of 5.8 percent a year before. Unemployment in the Interior was also 4.9 percent, a slight increase from September’s 5 percent. Southeast Alaska also rose slightly from 4.6 percent to 5 as the abbreviated cruise ship season wound down. The onset of winter oil activity lowered monthly unemployment in the Northern region from 8.5 percent to 8.1 in October. The rate went up in the Kenai Peninsula, Prince William Sound, and Southwest Alaska.

The unemployment rate nationwide was 4.6 percent in October, also a slight decrease from the month before.

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The total number of jobs grew by 2.8 percent, year over year—a smaller increase than the rise in September’s job count. The increase of 8,500 jobs from 2020 leaves the Alaska workforce about 15,800 shy of where it was in October 2019. The leisure and hospitality sector had the biggest recovery, and the 6,600 jobs in oil and gas puts that sector 500 jobs above 2020 but 3,200 jobs down from where it was at this time in 2019.

Local government had 700 more jobs than last October but 1,400 fewer than September 2019, and public education appears to be the main reason. State government employment was down 300 from last year and down 700 from 2019. Federal employment was down 600 from last October but nearly equal to where it was in 2019.

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