October employment down 0.3 percent from last year; unemployment rate at 6.4 percent
November 16, 2018
JUNEAU, Alaska—October employment was down by an estimated 0.3 percent, or 1,100 jobs, compared to October 2017. Retail had the biggest loss at 800 jobs. Professional and business services and manufacturing, which is mostly seafood processing, each lost 400 jobs over the year. Financial activities lost 300 jobs, and oil and gas lost 100.
Construction was up by 300 jobs, mainly through increased activity in Anchorage and the Interior. The other industries that grew were health care (600 jobs), transportation, warehousing and utilities (200), and leisure and hospitality (100).
Public sector employment was flat over the year. Federal government added 100 jobs while local government lost 100 and state government remained the same.
Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.4 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from September. The comparable national rate remained at 3.7 percent.
Not‐seasonally adjusted unemployment rates rose in most boroughs and census areas, following the normal fall pattern. Rates in Denali and Skagway, two areas that rely heavily on tourism, increased considerably. Fishing continued to drive the state’s lowest rates, with the Aleutians East Borough at 2.7 percent and Aleutians West Census Area at 4.3 percent. Juneau was also well below the statewide rate, at 4.3 percent.
The highest unemployment rates were in rural areas. Kusilvak Census Area’s rate was highest at 15.6 percent, and rates in the Lake and Peninsula Borough, Yukon‐Koyukuk Census Area, Northwest Arctic Borough, Bethel Census Area, and Hoonah-Angoon Census Area all topped 10 percent.