DATE: December 15, 2000         NO: 01-26

Contact: Rachel Baker       Phone:  907.465.6037
Contact: Neal Fried        Phone:  907.269.4861

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

News Release

Alaska Unemployment Inches Up

Alaska’s statewide unemployment rate increased three-tenths of a percentage point in November to 5.8%. The higher rate meant that more than 18,400 Alaskans were unemployed during November, an increase of about 700 from October. In November of 1999 the jobless numbers were very similar, with 18,600 Alaskans unemployed and a statewide unemployment rate of 5.9%. The comparable national unemployment rate (civilian not seasonally adjusted) in November was 3.8%. Neal Fried, a labor economist with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, reported the increase.

A slight increase in the November unemployment rate is typical as the economy continues its seasonal decline and employment drops. Despite the rising statewide unemployment rate, several areas still enjoy low jobless rates. Unemployment rates in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Sitka, Juneau, and the Aleutians East Borough were below the statewide rate. With the exception of the Aleutians East Borough, all of these area economies are much less susceptible to seasonal swings than some rural areas in the state. Ten areas had unemployment rates in the double digits, including the Kodiak and Denali boroughs and the Wade Hampton Census Area.

In November, wage and salary employment was running 4,700 above the November 1999 level. The job gains were in the services, oil, retail, transportation and construction industries. The only sectors with fewer jobs this year were finance, seafood processing and timber.

Wage and salary employment showed a broad seasonal downturn in nearly all industries, with a loss of 8,000 jobs from October. The biggest losses came in the construction, hotel, and seafood processing industries. One of the few areas that enjoyed employment gains were segments of retail trade that added staff for the holiday season. And with the record high Permanent Fund Dividend check, Alaska’s retailers should enjoy healthy holiday sales in 2000.

 


 Labor Force By Region and Census Area

  Labor Force Unemployment Rate Employment
  11/00 10/00 11/99 11/00 10/00 11/99 11/00 10/00 11/99 11/00 10/00 11/99
Alaska Statewide 316,825 319,963 314,252 18,441 17,704 18,644 5.8 5.5 5.9 298,384 302,259 295,608
Anchorage/Mat-Su Region 176,118 176,862 175,263 8,107 7,802 8,141 4.6 4.4 4.6 168,011 169,060 167,122
Municipality of Anchorage 144,666 144,829 144,793 5,905 5,760 6,030 4.1 4.0 4.2 138,761 139,069 138,763
Mat-Su Borough 31,452 32,033 30,470 2,202 2,042 2,111 7.0 6.4 6.9 29,250 29,991 28,359
Gulf Coast Region 33,200 32,559 31,904 3,243 2,859 3,605 9.8 8.8 11.3 29,957 29,700 28,299
Kenai Peninsula Borough 20,873 20,577 20,202 1,871 1,738 2,252 9.0 8.4 11.1 19,002 18,839 17,950
Kodiak Island Borough 7,290 6,975 6,851 938 678 851 12.9 9.7 12.4 6,352 6,297 6,000
Valdez-Cordova 5,037 5,007 4,851 434 443 502 8.6 8.8 10.3 4,603 4,564 4,349
Interior Region 47,776 49,743 48,710 2,794 2,804 2,924 5.8 5.6 6.0 44,982 46,939 45,786
Denali Borough 1,194 1,245 1,229 119 123 135 10.0 9.9 11.0 1,075 1,122 1,094
Fairbanks North Star Borough 42,126 43,906 42,994 2,130 2,170 2,283 5.1 4.9 5.3 39,996 41,736 40,711
Southeast Fairbanks 2,476 2,586 2,512 268 282 265 10.8 10.9 10.5 2,208 2,304 2,247
Yukon-Koyukuk 1,981 2,006 1,975 278 229 241 14.0 11.4 12.2 1,703 1,777 1,734
Northern Region 8,393 8,462 8,134 808 854 781 9.6 10.1 9.6 7,585 7,608 7,353
Nome 3,176 3,160 3,045 324 300 281 10.2 9.5 9.2 2,852 2,860 2,764
North Slope Borough 3,185 3,249 3,088 256 311 248 8.0 9.6 8.0 2,929 2,938 2,840
Northwest Arctic Borough 2,032 2,052 2,001 228 243 252 11.2 11.8 12.6 1,804 1,809 1,749
Southeast Region 38,356 38,281 37,624 2,316 2,189 2,172 6.0 5.7 5.8 36,040 36,092 35,452
Haines Borough 1,167 1,144 1,175 110 85 135 9.4 7.4 11.5 1,057 1,059 1,040
Juneau Borough 16,668 16,730 16,419 726 765 737 4.4 4.6 4.5 15,942 15,965 15,682
Ketchikan Gateway Borough 7,075 7,057 6,950 491 463 473 6.9 6.6 6.8 6,584 6,594 6,477
Pr. of Wales-Outer Ketchikan 3,151 3,149 3,086 288 282 270 9.1 9.0 8.7 2,863 2,867 2,816
Sitka Borough 4,257 4,250 4,185 178 165 172 4.2 3.9 4.1 4,079 4,085 4,013
Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon 2,275 2,266 2,158 207 195 124 9.1 8.6 5.7 2,068 2,071 2,034
Wrangell-Petersburg 3,442 3,383 3,357 277 213 243 8.0 6.3 7.2 3,165 3,170 3,114
Yakutat Borough 320 302 294 39 21 18 12.2 7.0 6.1 281 281 276
Southwest Region 12,982 14,055 12,616 1,173 1,195 1,021 9.0 8.5 8.1 11,809 12,860 11,595
Aleutians East Borough 1,396 1,507 1,371 64 56 63 4.6 3.7 4.6 1,332 1,451 1,308
Aleutians West 1,817 1,898 1,709 205 142 126 11.3 7.5 7.4 1,612 1,756 1,583
Bethel 5,315 5,839 5,205 425 514 404 8.0 8.8 7.8 4,890 5,325 4,801
Bristol Bay Borough 545 579 544 46 36 54 8.4 6.2 9.9 499 543 490
Dillingham 1,536 1,646 1,522 106 89 118 6.9 5.4 7.8 1,430 1,557 1,404
Lake & Peninsula Borough 536 569 482 66 57 20 12.3 10.0 4.1 470 512 462
Wade Hampton 1,837 2,018 1,783 261 302 236 14.2 15.0 13.2 1,576 1,716 1,547

Alaska Nonagricultural Wage & Salary Employment

      Changes From:
  P/ R/
  11/00 10/00 11/99 10/00 11/99
Total Nonagricultural Employment 275,400 283,400 270,700 -8,000 4,700
Mining 9,900 10,000 9,000 -100 900
Construction 13,800 15,800 13,600 -2,000 200
Manufacturing 9,100 11,800 9,200 -2,700 -100
Transportation, Commun. & Utilities 25,800 26,900 25,500 -1,100 300
Trade 57,400 57,500 56,900 -100 500
Finance, Insurance & Real Estate 12,600 12,900 12,700 -300 -100
Services & Misc. 71,700 72,900 69,000 -1,200 2,700
Government 75,100 75,600 74,800 -500 300

 


Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

November 2000 Alaska 6.0% U.S. 4.0%
October 2000 Alaska 6.0% U.S. 3.9%
November 1999 Alaska 5.9% U.S. 4.1%

 


*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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