November jobs up 0.3 percent from last year; unemployment rate dips to 6.1 percent
December 20, 2019
JUNEAU, Alaska—Alaska’s employment was up an estimated 0.3 percent in November, or 1,100 jobs, from November 2018. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent while the comparable national rate fell to 3.5 percent.
Oil and gas gained the most jobs (400), followed by leisure and hospitality and health care, which were both up by 300 jobs over the year. Retail lost 200 jobs and information was down 100.
Alaska lost 600 state government jobs, primarily due to budget cuts at the University of Alaska. Local government was flat over the year, and federal employment increased by 100 due in part to the U.S. Census Bureau hiring short-term workers for the 2020 Census.
As expected in late fall, not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates went up in nearly all boroughs and census areas. The lowest rate was in Juneau (4.4 percent), but three other areas were also under 5 percent: Sitka (4.6 percent), Aleutians East Borough (4.7 percent) and Anchorage (4.8 percent).
During the summer, the state’s most tourism-heavy areas, Denali and Skagway, had the state’s lowest rates. In November, that reversed and they were highest at 16.9 percent and 18.2 percent, respectively. Eight other areas’ rates also exceeded 10 percent: Kusilvak Census Area, Bristol Bay Borough, Bethel Census Area, Northwest Arctic Borough, Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Hoonah-Angoon Census Area, Haines Borough and the Valdez-Cordova Census Area.