Job Growth Seen for Three Consecutive Months
Alaska’s construction industry had the largest addition of jobs in March 2019.
Alaska’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development publishes monthly employment numbers. During February and March, employment in Alaska was up 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent respectively. While the initial increase of jobs is small, it is significant because February was the second month in a row that jobs increased after more than three years of job loss. The increase in March was even more encouraging as growth continued and was higher than January and February.
During the month of February, Alaska saw a growth of about 400 jobs. The largest growth was in Construction that added 1,000 jobs. Oil and Gas added 500 jobs. The largest loss came from the Manufacturing sector, which includes seafood processing. This sector lost 500 jobs over last February. Overall, the private sector was up 800 jobs and the public sector was down 400 jobs.
Alaska’s seasonally adjusted February unemployment numbers remained at 6.5 percent, while the national average fell from 4.0 percent to 3.8 percent.
March recorded an additional 1,000 jobs over March 2018. Construction continued to have the largest addition of jobs with 1,100 new jobs over the previous year. Health Care and the Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities sector both added 400 jobs. As was the case in February, Manufacturing lost 500 jobs. Both Federal and Local Government lost jobs, but State Government was up 100 jobs.
The March unemployment rate remained 6.5 percent and the national average held steady at 3.8 percent.
Experts are hopeful that job growth will continue in the coming months and will signal that the state has come out of the recent recession. While there is hope for this, it is also contingent on the final budget for the state in fiscal year 2020, which is still being debated in the Legislature.
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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.