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Jobs Up 0.6 Percent In December From Prior Year; Unemployment Rate Remains At 6.1 Percent

Jan. 24, 2020
No. 20-03

JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska’s employment was up an estimated 0.6 percent in December, or 1,900 jobs, from December 2018. December’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Alaska and the U.S. remained the same as the month before, at 6.1 percent and 3.5 percent.
Leisure and hospitality gained the most jobs over the year (600), followed by oil and gas, professional and business services and health care (each up 400 jobs). Retail lost 200 jobs and information was down 100.

Alaska lost 400 state government jobs. Local government was up 200 over the year and federal employment increased by 100, mainly because the U.S. Census Bureau has been hiring short-term workers to conduct the 2020 Census.

Not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates fell in 11 areas, rose in 14, and held steady in four, including the three urban areas (Anchorage at 4.8 percent, Fairbanks at 5.3 percent and Juneau at 4.4 percent). Juneau’s rate was the state’s lowest, and Denali Borough’s was highest (19.9 percent). Each fall, unemployment rates rise around the state as seasonal industries slow dramatically, but by mid-winter, the rates are driven by regional “off-season” economies.

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