Employment Down 0.7 Percent, Unemployment Rate Unchanged - P.O.W. Report

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Employment Down 0.7 Percent, Unemployment Rate Unchanged

JUNEAU, Alaska—Alaska’s total employment was down an estimated 0.7 percent in February from February 2017, a loss of about 2,300 jobs.

As a percentage, oil and gas employment’s decline of 6.8 percent was the largest (-700 jobs). Retail was down 2.3 percent (-800 jobs). Construction fell 0.8 percent (-100 jobs), a smaller loss than in recent months. Employment fell in all three sectors of government: federal by 0.7 percent, state by 1.7 percent and local by 0.7 percent. Local government’s declines were in public education.

The manufacturing sector and the transportation, warehousing and utilities sector both gained a modest 100 jobs. Health care continued to be the outlier, adding 1,000 jobs since February 2017 for a 2.7 percent increase.

Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 7.3 percent in February. The comparable national rate was 4.1 percent.

Alaska’s not-seasonally adjusted rate was 8.2 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from January. Unemployment rates rose in 16 of 29 boroughs and census areas and remained the same in three. The lowest rates were in the Aleutians East Borough (1.9 percent) and the Aleutians West Census Area (2.4 percent), which is typical for areas with winter fisheries. Rates were highest in Skagway, which depends on summer tourism and always has higher rates in the off-season (24.8 percent), followed by rural areas with limited job opportunities year-round.

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