The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Unemployment rate at 6.8 percent in November


December 22, 2016 | View PDF

Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in November, essentially unchanged from October’s revised 6.9 percent. Alaska’s adjusted rate has been trending higher throughout 2016. The national rate was 4.6 percent.

November’s unadjusted unemployment rate was 6.6 percent, up two-tenths of a percentage point, which is a typical seasonal increase.

Unadjusted rates were up in 23 out of 29 boroughs and census areas, following the statewide trend.

The largest increase was 8.8 percentage points in the Denali Borough, which has a busy summer season followed by a dramatic winter slowdown. Denali Borough also had the highest rate at 19.3 percent.

The lowest rate was 4.3 percent in the Aleutians East Borough and in the City and Borough of Sitka.

Urban areas’ rates were all below the statewide average, which is typical in the winter. Juneau was the lowest at 4.6 percent, followed by Anchorage at 5.2 percent and Fairbanks at 5.7 percent.

Preliminary estimates show statewide payroll employment fell by 8,400 jobs, or 2.6 percent, compared to November 2015. The oil and gas industry lost the most at 2,900 jobs, followed by construction and professional and business services, which were also affected by the oil industry slowdown.

Job losses extended beyond natural resource development and included the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which lost 1,500 jobs. Other service industries were also down. Health care was the only source of private sector growth, with 500 more jobs than the previous November.

State government employment was down 1,300 jobs from the prior year, while federal and local job counts grew slightly.

Regional employment estimates for November show the same trends around the state, but the magnitude of job losses varied by an area’s industry mix. The Northern Region sustained the biggest loss at 12.8 percent, or 2,900 jobs. Job loss in other regions ranged from 1 to 2 percent except in the Gulf Coast Region, where employment was essentially flat.


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