Unemployment rate for May in Alaska at 6.7 percent - P.O.W. Report

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Unemployment rate for May in Alaska at 6.7 percent

JUNEAU, Alaska— Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in May, a small increase from April’s 6.6 percent. The comparable national rate was 4.7 percent.

The last time there was a two percentage point gap between the U.S. and Alaska rates was October of 2009, when rates peaked at the height of the great recession – Alaska’s at 8.0 percent, and the U.S. at 10.0 percent. But that relationship was unusual. For more than 25 years before the great recession, Alaska’s rate averaged close to 2 percentage points above the national level.

Alaska’s unadjusted rate had a typical seasonal decline from 6.9 percent in April to 6.6 percent in May. Unadjusted rates fell in 22 boroughs and census areas from April to May, remained flat in three, and rose in four.

Big swings occurred in May in two areas along with the arrival of the tourism season. The unemployment rate fell 11.5 percentage points to 5.4 percent in the Denali Borough, and 7.8 percentage points to 4.7 percent in the Municipality of Skagway.

The city and boroughs of Juneau and Sitka shared the lowest rate in the state in May, at 4.2 percent. The highest rate was 22.3 percent in the Kusilvak Census Area.

Preliminary employment estimates show 0.6 percent fewer jobs in May of 2016 compared to the same month in the previous year. Shrinking oil and gas and state government employment have been the main contributors to overall employment losses, which started late last year. [Source]

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