Unemployment Down to 6 Percent in November
Alaska’s unemployment rate went down in November compared to the previous month.
The state Department of Labor & Workforce Development puts the seasonally adjusted rate at 6 percent in November, a slight decrease from the 6.1 percent of October and approximately the same level of unemployment Alaska saw in 2017 and 2018.
Not Quite Back to Pre-Pandemic Level
The rate in Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough was a combined 4.9 percent, unmoved from October and a decrease from 6 percent a year before. Unemployment in the Interior rose slightly from 4.9 to 5.1 percent, month to month. Southeast Alaska also rose to 5.1 percent. Winter oil activity lowered monthly unemployment in the Northern region from 8.1 to 8 percent in November.
A few regions now have higher unemployment rates than in November 2020: the Valdez-Cordova Census Area rose to 8.2 percent, the Denali Borough rose to 15.1, the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area up to 9.8, and the Kusilvak Census Area in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta rose to 16.3, higher than 14.8 percent a year before.
The total number of jobs grew by 2.4 percent, year over year—a smaller increase than the rise in October’s job count. The increase of 7,200 jobs compared to November 2020 leaves the Alaska workforce about 13,100 shy of where it was in November 2019.
The sectors furthest behind their pre-pandemic levels are leisure and hospitality, down by 3,700 jobs; oil and gas, down by 3,100; mining and logging, down by 2,700; and local government (including public schools and tribal government), down by 2,200 since November 2019.
The only sectors with a net increase of jobs since 2019 are healthcare and manufacturing, both gaining 300 jobs, and federal government (excluding the military), up by 100.
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