September employment down 0.6 percent from last year; unemployment rate at 6.5 percent
October 19, 2018
JUNEAU, Alaska—September employment was down an estimated 0.6 percent, or 2,000 jobs, compared to September 2017. Retail had the biggest loss at 900 jobs. Professional and business services lost 500 jobs over the year, and oil and gas lost 400.
Construction added 200 jobs, mainly due to increased activity in Anchorage and the Interior. The other industries that grew were health care (600 jobs); transportation, warehousing and utilities (300); and leisure and hospitality (100).
Public sector employment decreased by 500 over the year. Federal government added 100 jobs while local government lost 400 and state government lost 200.
Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 6.7 percent in August to 6.5 percent in September, down eight‐tenths of a percentage point from the beginning of the year. The comparable national rate was 3.7 percent.
Not‐seasonally adjusted rates rose in most boroughs and census areas, following the normal fall pattern as fishing, construction, and tourism activity tapers. Rates in the Aleutians, Skagway and Denali — areas that depend most on fishing and tourism — remained the lowest in the state, although they too increased slightly as fall approached.
The highest unemployment rates were in rural areas with little commercial fishing or tourism. Kusilvak Census Area’s rate was highest at 15.9 percent, and the Yukon‐Koyukuk Census Area, Northwest Arctic Borough and Bethel Census Area all topped 10 percent.