DATE: July 21, 2000         NO: 01-06

Contact: John Boucher        Phone:  907.465.6036

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

News Release

June Statewide Jobless Rate 6.0%

Alaska’s statewide unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point in June to 6.0%. The number of unemployed Alaskans increased slightly to more than 19,900, 350 more than in May, but the increase in the number of employed persons was more than enough to offset the increase in the number of unemployed. John Boucher, a labor economist with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, reported the June unemployment data. The statewide jobless rate remained below last year’s level and was the second-lowest rate posted for June in the last 20 years. In June 1999, the statewide unemployment rate was 6.5% and 20,900 Alaskans were unemployed. The comparable national unemployment rate in June was 4.2% (civilian not seasonally adjusted).

Many areas of Alaska saw relatively small changes in unemployment in June. Those that experienced sharper drops in unemployment tended to be areas dependent on fishing and/or tourism for summer job generation. Some of Alaska’s coastal areas either posted low rates or showed improvement. Kodiak was one exception to this trend, though, and saw its unemployment rate increase from 8.8% to 12.3% due to less fishing activity. The Denali Borough, where unemployment dropped from 5.9% to 3.3% over the month, is a good example of an area rate positively influenced by the visitor industry. The Denali Borough also posted the lowest unemployment rate in the state in June. The highest rate was in the Wade Hampton Census Area, which had an unemployment rate of 21.8%.

Accompanying the drop in Alaska’s jobless rate, 7,600 wage and salary jobs were added to the state’s economy in June. "The biggest contributor to the June job increase was Alaska’s visitor industry," Boucher said. "Hotels and lodges, retailers, passenger transportation firms and amusement and recreation services all added employees in June." Most of the rest of the job gains were accounted for by increased construction activity or seafood processors gearing up for the peak salmon processing season.

Except for a drop in federal government employment associated with the census, most job losses in June were related to the beginning of the summer vacation period for schools. Local government employment dropped 2,700 jobs from May to June as seasonal employees of local school districts were let go, and state government employment posted a drop of 1,600 jobs, most of it related to the University of Alaska.


Labor Force By Region and Census Area

Labor Force

Unemployment

Rate

Employment

Jun-00

May-00

Jun-99

Jun-00

May-00

Jun-99

Jun-00

May-00

Jun-99

Jun-00

May-00

Jun-99

Alaska Statewide

330,099

320,780

322,080

19,958

19,608

20,900

6

6.1

6.5

310,141

301,172

301,180

Anchorage Mat-Su Region

177,299

173,832

172,066

8,665

8,487

9,300

4.9

4.9

5.4

168,634

165,345

162,766

Municipality of Anchorage

144,814

142,586

141,582

6,348

6,209

6,693

4.4

4.4

4.7

138,466

136,377

134,889

Mat-Su Borough

32,485

31,246

30,484

2,317

2,278

2,607

7.1

7.3

8.6

30,168

28,968

27,877

Gulf Coast Region

36,247

33,801

35,922

2,887

2,908

3,098

8

8.6

8.6

33,360

30,893

32,824

Kenai Peninsula Borough

22,752

21,469

23,076

1,592

1,873

2,256

7

8.7

9.8

21,160

19,596

20,820

Kodiak Island Borough

8,063

7,183

7,355

990

633

396

12.3

8.8

5.4

7,073

6,550

6,959

Valdez-Cordova

5,430

5,149

5,489

304

402

445

5.6

7.8

8.1

5,126

4,747

5,044

Interior Region

52,306

50,976

51,007

3,205

3,248

3,231

6.1

6.4

6.3

49,101

47,728

47,776

Denali Borough

1,214

1,212

1,180

40

71

38

3.3

5.9

3.2

1,174

1,141

1,142

Fairbanks North Star Borough

46,257

44,976

45,184

2,599

2,539

2,704

5.6

5.6

6

43,658

42,437

42,480

Southeast Fairbanks

2,645

2,600

2,497

235

257

152

8.9

9.9

6.1

2,410

2,343

2,345

Yukon-Koyukuk

2,190

2,188

2,147

331

381

338

15.1

17.4

15.7

1,859

1,807

1,809

Northern Region

8,552

8,524

8,191

1,127

1,026

1,108

13.2

12

13.5

7,425

7,498

7,083

Nome

3,246

3,263

3,137

454

444

474

14

13.6

15.1

2,792

2,819

2,663

North Slope Borough

3,230

3,189

3,042

362

293

307

11.2

9.2

10.1

2,868

2,896

2,735

Northwest Arctic Borough

2,076

2,072

2,012

310

289

327

14.9

13.9

16.3

1,766

1,783

1,685

Southeast Region

41,481

39,741

40,834

2,329

2,313

2,607

5.6

5.8

6.4

39,152

37,428

38,227

Haines Borough

1,210

1,178

1,222

61

80

100

5

6.8

8.2

1,149

1,098

1,122

Juneau Borough

18,071

17,277

17,786

752

721

876

4.2

4.2

4.9

17,319

16,556

16,910

Ketchikan Gateway Borough

7,628

7,308

7,459

475

470

475

6.2

6.4

6.4

7,153

6,838

6,984

Pr. of Wales-Outer Ketchikan

3,519

3,385

3,500

409

412

463

11.6

12.2

13.2

3,110

2,973

3,037

Sitka Borough

4,669

4,437

4,590

238

201

263

5.1

4.5

5.7

4,431

4,236

4,327

Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon

2,366

2,259

2,325

120

111

132

5.1

4.9

5.7

2,246

2,148

2,193

Wrangell-Petersburg

3,670

3,562

3,616

231

275

259

6.3

7.7

7.2

3,439

3,287

3,357

Yakutat Borough

349

336

337

44

44

39

12.6

13.1

11.6

305

292

298

Northwest Region

14,213

13,905

14,060

1,744

1,625

1,557

12.3

11.7

11.1

12,469

12,280

12,503

Aleutians East Borough

1,475

1,443

1,451

68

58

40

4.6

4

2.8

1,407

1,385

1,411

Aleutians West

1,870

1,836

1,873

168

159

166

9

8.7

8.9

1,702

1,677

1,707

Bethel

5,923

5,768

5,892

760

683

715

12.8

11.8

12.1

5,163

5,085

5,177

Bristol Bay Borough

589

566

555

62

47

27

10.5

8.3

4.9

527

519

528

Dillingham

1,669

1,664

1,684

159

177

170

9.5

10.6

10.1

1,510

1,487

1,514

Lake & Peninsula Borough

561

552

553

64

63

55

11.4

11.4

9.9

497

489

498

Wade Hampton

2,127

2,076

2,052

463

438

384

21.8

21.1

18.7

1,664

1,638

1,668

 

Alaska Nonagricultural Wage & Salary Employment

preliminary

revised

Changes from:

June-00

May-00

Jun-99

May-00

Jun-99

Total Nonagricultural Employment

294,300

286,700

290,200

7,600

4,100

Mining

9,900

9,800

9,500

100

400

Construction

16,200

14,400

15,600

1,800

600

Manufacturing

13,800

12,300

14,300

1,500

-500

Transportation, Commun. & Utilities

28,500

27,800

28,200

700

300

Trade

62,000

58,300

61,500

3,700

500

Finance, Insurance & Real Estate

13,200

12,900

13,200

300

0

Services & Misc.

77,500

73,500

75,500

4,000

2,000

*Government

73,200

77,700

72,400

-4,500

800

*Government includes employees of public schools and the University of Alaska.
Benchmark date: March 1999

Source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Research and Analysis Section.

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