August jobs up 0.1 percent from last year; unemployment rate at 6.2 percent
September 20, 2019
JUNEAU, Alaska—Alaska’s employment was up an estimated 0.1 percent in August, or 400 jobs, from August 2018. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined by one-tenth of a percentage point, to 6.2 percent, while the comparable national rate remained at 3.7 percent.
Job growth has slowed since earlier in the summer. Construction (+600) and oil and gas (+500) continued to lead job growth with increased North Slope activity and military projects in the Interior. Manufacturing (primarily seafood processing) and the financial activities sector lost the largest numbers of jobs (-300 each).
Alaska had 400 more federal jobs than in August of last year, due in part to the Bureau of Land Management’s fire response and a ramp-up in census hiring. State and local government both lost jobs, at -200 and -100, respectively.
The not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate followed the typical summer pattern, with rates falling or remaining flat in most areas. Fishing and tourism drove the lowest rates, with the Aleutians East Borough and Aleutians West Census Area at 2.0 percent and 2.6 percent, and Skagway and the Denali Borough at 2.6 percent and 3.2 percent.
Rural areas without fishing or tourism had higher rates. The Kusilvak Census Area’s rate was highest at 18.6 percent, but rates in the Bethel Census Area, Northwest Arctic Borough, Nome Census Area, and Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area all topped 10 percent.