DATE: September 14, 2000      NO: 01-14

CONTACT: 

John Boucher Phone: (907)465-6036

CONTACT: 

Neal Fried Phone: (907)269-4861

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

News Release


Alaska Unemployment Continues Long Decline

August Unemployment for selected areas - graphAlaskaís unemployment rate fell to 4.3% in August. This is the sixth straight month of declines in the jobless rate. Augustís rate is also the second lowest since 1978. These unemployment figures continue to attest to a tight job market in Alaskaónot unlike most of the rest of the nation. The comparable national rate (civilian not seasonally adjusted) was 4.1% in August. John Boucher, a labor economist with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, reported Augustís data.

Augustís 4.3% statewide rate meant that just over 14,200 Alaskans were jobless, about 1,300 fewer than in July and approximately 1,000 fewer than in August of 1999. Only in 1998 was the number of unemployed for the month of August smalleróby approximately 400.

Nearly every region and area in the state enjoyed lower jobless rates in August. With seasonal industries such as fishing, tourism, and construction at or near peak activity in August, it was not surprising that nearly every region and area in the state enjoyed lower jobless rates. Most areas also recorded lower jobless levels than a year-ago. Some exceptions were noted. In Southeast Alaska, the Yakutat Borough and Prince of Wales-Outer Ketchikan had higher unemployment this August compared to August 1999. Bristol Bay and Lake and Peninsula Boroughsí unemployment rates also came in higher than year-ago levels.

While unemployment was below average in most areas of the state, there are places in rural Alaska that are still experiencing unemployment rates above ten percent. These include Nome, Northwest Arctic Borough and Wade Hampton, which recorded the highest unemployment rate in August at 15.9%.

Wage and salary employment was nearly unchanged from July. Most industries gained jobs in August but losses in seafood processing were large enough to cause total employment to fall slightly. This is not unusual for August, since seafood processing employment typically peaks in July, coinciding with the salmon harvest in western Alaska. Over-the-year growth in wage and salary employment was strongest in Fairbanks, Anchorage and the Northern region. A rebound in oil industry activity is giving the Northern region an employment boost.


Labor Force By Region and Census Area

Labor Force

Unemployment

Rate

Employment

Aug-00

Jul-00

Aug-99

Aug-00

Jul-00

Aug-99

Aug-00

Jul-00

Aug-99

Aug-00

Jul-00

Aug-99

Alaska Statewide

327,792

332,242

322,323

14,244

15,507

15,271

4.3

4.7

4.7

313,548

316,735

307,052

Anchorage/Mat-Su Region

174,472

175,249

170,369

6,557

7,028

7,037

3.8

4

4.1

167,915

168,221

163,332

Municipality of Anchorage

142,200

143,366

139,215

4,875

5,174

5,140

3.4

3.6

3.7

137,325

138,192

134,075

Mat-Su Borough

32,272

31,883

31,154

1,682

1,854

1,897

5.2

5.8

6.1

30,590

30,029

29,257

Gulf Coast Region

35,995

37,428

36,361

1,785

1,951

2,247

5

5.2

6.2

34,210

35,477

34,114

Kenai Peninsula Borough

23,008

23,925

23,381

1,308

1,422

1,742

5.7

5.9

7.5

21,700

22,503

21,639

Kodiak Island Borough

7,509

7,814

7,501

256

292

268

3.4

3.7

3.6

7,253

7,522

7,233

Valdez-Cordova

5,478

5,690

5,479

221

238

237

4

4.2

4.3

5,257

5,452

5,242

Interior Region

51,195

52,245

50,354

2,210

2,529

2,310

4.3

4.8

4.6

48,985

49,716

48,044

Denali Borough

1,204

1,219

1,179

33

31

31

2.7

2.5

2.6

1,171

1,188

1,148

Fairbanks North Star Borough

45,332

46,251

44,615

1,777

2,046

1,897

3.9

4.4

4.3

43,555

44,205

42,718

Southeast Fairbanks

2,605

2,648

2,519

201

208

161

7.7

7.9

6.4

2,404

2,440

2,358

Yukon-Koyukuk

2,053

2,127

2,040

198

245

221

9.6

11.5

10.8

1,855

1,882

1,819

Northern Region

8,221

8,317

7,823

830

865

802

10.1

10.4

10.3

7,391

7,452

7,021

Nome

3,092

3,137

2,948

313

335

308

10.1

10.7

10.4

2,779

2,802

2,640

North Slope Borough

3,155

3,167

2,950

301

289

238

9.5

9.1

8.1

2,854

2,878

2,712

Northwest Arctic Borough

1,974

2,013

1,926

216

241

256

10.9

12

13.3

1,758

1,772

1,670

Southeast Region

42,188

42,674

41,664

1,670

1,810

1,761

4

4.2

4.2

40,518

40,864

39,903

Haines Borough

1,217

1,238

1,223

28

39

52

2.3

3.2

4.3

1,189

1,199

1,171

Juneau Borough

18,555

18,742

18,373

632

666

722

3.4

3.6

3.9

17,923

18,076

17,651

Ketchikan Gateway Borough

7,738

7,795

7,608

336

330

318

4.3

4.2

4.2

7,402

7,465

7,290

Pr. of Wales-Outer Ketchikan

3,500

3,553

3,419

281

307

249

8

8.6

7.3

3,219

3,246

3,170

Sitka Borough

4,734

4,783

4,690

148

158

174

3.1

3.3

3.7

4,586

4,625

4,516

Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon

2,410

2,456

2,378

85

111

88

3.5

4.5

3.7

2,325

2,345

2,290

Wrangell-Petersburg

3,699

3,757

3,646

140

168

141

3.8

4.5

3.9

3,559

3,589

3,505

Yakutat Borough

335

349

328

19

30

17

5.7

8.6

5.2

316

319

311

Southwest Region

15,721

16,330

15,753

1,193

1,325

1,114

7.6

8.1

7.1

14,528

15,005

14,639

Aleutians East Borough

1,666

1,721

1,672

27

28

20

1.6

1.6

1.2

1,639

1,693

1,652

Aleutians West

2,077

2,192

2,093

94

143

94

4.5

6.5

4.5

1,983

2,049

1,999

Bethel

6,561

6,816

6,593

545

603

531

8.3

8.8

8.1

6,016

6,213

6,062

Bristol Bay Borough

642

661

635

28

27

17

4.4

4.1

2.7

614

634

618

Dillingham

1,842

1,897

1,883

83

80

110

4.5

4.2

5.8

1,759

1,817

1,773

Lake & Peninsula Borough

629

640

623

50

42

40

7.9

6.6

6.4

579

598

583

Wade Hampton

2,304

2,403

2,255

366

401

302

15.9

16.7

13.4

1,938

2,002

1,953

 


Alaska Nonagricultural Wage & Salary Employment

Preliminary Revised Changes from:
Aug-00 Jul-00 Aug-00

Total Nonagricultural Employment

302,100

302,300

297,000

-200

5,100

Mining

10,100

10,000

9,200

100

900

Construction

17,800

17,200

17,400

600

400

Manufacturing

19,700

20,700

20,300

-1,000

-600

Transportation, Commun. & Utilities

29,400

29,100

28,900

300

500

Trade

62,200

62,600

61,900

-400

300

Finance, Insurance & Real Estate

13,300

13,200

13,300

100

0

Services & Misc.

78,200

78,400

76,000

-200

2,200

Government

71,400

71,100

70,000

300

1,400


Benchmark: March 1999   
Source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Research and Analysis Section.

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