DATE: August 18,2000         NO: 01-08

Contact: John Boucher        Phone:  907.465.6036

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

News Release

Alaska Unemployment Ties Record Low for July


July Unemployment - Selected AreasAlaska’s unemployment rate fell one and three-tenths percentage points in the month of July, and in the process tied a record low for the month. The 4.7% rate posted in July equaled July 1998’s rate, which was the lowest rate posted for that month since 1978. (Unemployment rates calculated prior to 1978 are not strictly comparable due to method changes.)

Brigitta Windisch-Cole, a labor economist with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, reported the record-tying low. "Alaska’s fishing, visitor and construction industries combined to add 7,900 wage and salary jobs in July," Windisch-Cole said. "These additional jobs were the most significant factor contributing to the drop in the jobless rate." The comparable national unemployment rate (civilian not seasonally adjusted) in July was 4.2%.

Regionally, communities with ties to Alaska’s fishing industry showed the biggest improvement in unemployment in July. Kodiak, the Dillingham Census Area, Lake and Peninsula, and Bristol Bay boroughs showed some of the largest improvements in unemployment compared to June. The lowest unemployment rate in Alaska was posted in the Aleutians East Borough at 1.6% while the highest rate was in the Wade Hampton Census Area at 16.6%.

Wage and salary employment statistics point to some of the reasons job seekers found it easier to locate work in July. "Every industry except the public sector had more jobs available in July than in June," Windisch-Cole said. "The construction, transportation, mining and tourism-related industries were significant job gainers in July."

The biggest source of additional employment was Alaska’s seafood processing industry, which added more than 6,800 jobs in response to the peak salmon processing season. However, in comparison to other Julys, the seafood processing industry posted the second-lowest number of jobs since 1989.

The drop in government employment was education-related as local school districts dropped seasonal staff from their payrolls for the summer vacation.


Labor Force By Region and Census Area

Labor Force Unemployment Rate Employment

7/00

6/00

7/99

7/00

6/00

7/99

7/00

6/00

7/99

7/00

6/00

7/99

Alaska Statewide

332,243

330,098

326,702

15,508

19,957

17,994

4.7

6.0

5.5

316,735

310,141

308,708

 

Anchorage/Mat-Su Region

175,335

177,285

171,111

7,029

8,666

8,245

4.0

4.9

4.8

168,306

168,619

162,866

Municipality of Anchorage

143,569

144,776

141,242

5,176

6,348

5,993

3.6

4.4

4.2

138,393

138,428

135,249

Mat-Su Borough

31,766

32,509

29,869

1,853

2,318

2,252

5.8

7.1

7.5

29,913

30,191

27,617

Gulf Coast Region

37,344

36,220

37,486

1,950

2,887

2,613

5.2

8.0

7.0

35,394

33,333

34,873

Kenai Peninsula Borough

23,872

22,735

24,114

1,421

1,592

1,994

6.0

7.0

8.3

22,451

21,143

22,120

Kodiak Island Borough

7,796

8,057

7,735

292

990

341

3.7

12.3

4.4

7,504

7,067

7,394

Valdez-Cordova

5,676

5,426

5,637

237

304

278

4.2

5.6

4.9

5,439

5,122

5,359

Interior Region

52,269

52,456

51,655

2,530

3,205

2,705

4.8

6.1

5.2

49,739

49,251

48,950

Denali Borough

1,220

1,217

1,212

31

40

42

2.5

3.3

3.5

1,189

1,177

1,170

Fairbanks North Star Borough

46,272

46,391

45,749

2,047

2,599

2,225

4.4

5.6

4.9

44,225

43,792

43,524

Southeast Fairbanks

2,649

2,652

2,584

208

235

181

7.9

8.9

7.0

2,441

2,417

2,403

Yukon-Koyukuk

2,128

2,196

2,110

245

331

257

11.5

15.1

12.2

1,883

1,865

1,853

Northern Region

8,333

8,560

8,047

865

1,127

1,000

10.4

13.2

12.4

7,468

7,433

7,047

Nome

3,143

3,249

3,077

335

454

428

10.7

14.0

13.9

2,808

2,795

2,649

North Slope Borough

3,173

3,233

2,984

289

362

262

9.1

11.2

8.8

2,884

2,871

2,722

Northwest Arctic Borough

2,017

2,078

1,986

241

310

310

11.9

14.9

15.6

1,776

1,768

1,676

Southeast Region

42,553

41,374

42,100

1,810

2,329

2,109

4.3

5.6

5.0

40,743

39,045

39,991

Haines Borough

1,234

1,207

1,235

39

61

62

3.2

5.1

5.0

1,195

1,146

1,173

Juneau Borough

18,689

18,024

18,508

666

752

818

3.6

4.2

4.4

18,023

17,272

17,690

Ketchikan Gateway Borough

7,773

7,608

7,717

330

475

411

4.2

6.2

5.3

7,443

7,133

7,306

Pr. of Wales-Outer Ketchikan

3,543

3,511

3,469

307

409

292

8.7

11.6

8.4

3,236

3,102

3,177

Sitka Borough

4,770

4,657

4,731

158

238

205

3.3

5.1

4.3

4,612

4,419

4,526

Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon

2,449

2,360

2,412

111

120

117

4.5

5.1

4.9

2,338

2,240

2,295

Wrangell-Petersburg

3,746

3,660

3,693

168

231

181

4.5

6.3

4.9

3,578

3,429

3,512

Yakutat Borough

348

348

334

30

44

22

8.6

12.6

6.6

318

304

312

Southwest Region

16,410

14,204

16,305

1,325

1,744

1,324

8.1

12.3

8.1

15,085

12,460

14,981

Aleutians East Borough

1,730

1,474

1,742

28

68

52

1.6

4.6

3.0

1,702

1,406

1,690

Aleutians West

2,203

1,869

2,257

143

168

212

6.5

9.0

9.4

2,060

1,701

2,045

Bethel

6,849

5,919

6,773

603

760

570

8.8

12.8

8.4

6,246

5,159

6,203

Bristol Bay Borough

664

588

647

27

62

14

4.1

10.5

2.2

637

526

633

Dillingham

1,907

1,668

1,907

80

159

93

4.2

9.5

4.9

1,827

1,509

1,814

Lake & Peninsula Borough

643

560

636

42

64

39

6.5

11.4

6.1

601

496

597

Wade Hampton

2,414

2,125

2,342

401

463

343

16.6

21.8

14.6

2,013

1,662

1,999

 

Alaska Nonagricultural Wage & Salary Employment

preliminary

revised

Changes From:

7/00

6/00

7/99

6/00

7/99

 

Total Nonagricultural Employment

302,200

294,300

297,000

7,900

5,200

Mining

10,000

9,900

9,300

100

700

Construction

17,100

16,200

16,800

900

300

Manufacturing

20,700

13,900

20,800

6,800

-100

Transportation, Commun. & Utilities

29,100

28,600

28,500

500

600

Trade

62,900

61,700

62,100

1,200

800

Finance, Insurance & Real Estate

13,200

13,200

13,200

0

0

Services & Misc.

78,400

77,400

76,100

1,000

2,300

*Government

70,800

73,400

70,200

-2,600

600

*Government includes employees of public schools and the University of Alaska.
Benchmark date: March 1999

Source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Research and Analysis Section.

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