May employment up 0.3 percent from last year; unemployment rate at 6.4 percent
June 21, 2019
JUNEAU, Alaska—Alaska’s employment was up an estimated 0.3 percent in May, or 900 jobs, from May 2018.
In the private sector, construction added the largest number of jobs over the year (1,100), followed by oil and gas (500). Manufacturing, which is mostly seafood processing, recorded the biggest over-the-year decline at 600 jobs. Financial activities fell by 300 jobs and the information sector by 200.
Alaska had 400 more federal jobs and 300 more local government jobs than last May. State government employment fell by 1,700, but that was due to a technical timing issue. Because school ended slightly earlier this year at the University of Alaska, the data show those jobs ending one pay period earlier than in 2018. If it weren’t for that, state government’s job count would have been about the same as last year.
Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.4 percent after holding steady at 6.5 percent for nine months. The comparable national rate remained at 3.6 percent.
Not‐seasonally adjusted rates fell in 19 boroughs and census areas, rose in nine and remained the same in one. Tourism drove the largest rate drops, with the Denali Borough’s rate falling from 14.8 percent to 5.3 percent and Skagway’s from 11.9 percent to 4.0 percent.
The lull between winter and summer fishing increased rates in the Aleutians East Borough and Aleutians West Census Area, although both remained relatively low. The Bristol Bay Borough’s rate fell from 7.7 percent to 4.1 percent as its summer fishing season began.
The rural Kusilvak Census Area, which has high year-round unemployment, had the state’s highest rate at 21.2 percent. Rates were low in the urban centers, at 5.2 percent in Anchorage, 5.5 percent in Fairbanks and 4.3 percent in Juneau.