SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Alaska's unemployment rate at 8.8 percent in December
Ketchikan's unemployment rate 9.9 percent


January 28, 2010

(SitNews) - Alaska's December seasonally adjusted unemployment rate statewide was 8.8 percent. November's preliminary rate was revised down three-tenths of a percentage point to 8.4 percent. For December, of the 354,603 reported civilian labor force, 31,842 Alaskans statewide were reported as unemployed.

jpg Unemployment rates, Alaska & U.S.

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Courtesy Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development

The comparable national unemployment rate for December was 10.0 percent.

That marks the 12th month Alaska's rate has remained below the nation's. The last time that happened was in the early 1980s when the U.S. was in the midst of a very deep recession and Alaska was in the middle of an economic boom, reports Neal Fried, Economist with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development's Research and Analysis Section.

All the state's regions saw higher over-the-year unemployment rates in December. In the Gulf Coast, employment losses were in the oil, and leisure and hospitality industries. In the Northern region, declines in the oil industry took their toll. In the Interior and Anchorage/Mat-Su regions, a long list of industries contributed to higher unemployment.

In Southeast the unemployment rate for December was 9.5 percent, up from November's 8.5 percent. According to Fried, Southeast unemployment rates were higher because of employment losses in leisure and hospitality, construction and retail. Ketchikan's unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) for December was 9.9 percent. This was an increase from November's unemployment rate of 8.5 percent. Ketchikan' civilian labor force for December was 7,768 with 772 reported as unemployed. In November, 646 were reported as unemployed.

The Alaska Department of Labor's official definition of unemployment excludes anyone who has not made an active attempt to find work in the four-week period up to and including the week of the 12th reference month. Many individuals in rural Alaska do not meet the definition because they have not conducted an active job search due to the scarcity of employment opportunities.

According to information released by Fried, another factor contributing to the rising jobless rate statewide is the growth in the number of job seekers. Because Alaska's relative employment picture remains better than most of the nation's, fewer Alaskans are leaving the state looking for employment prospects elsewhere in the country and more job seekers are coming north looking for employment opportunities reported Fried.

Statewide in December, over-the-month and over-the-year wage and salary employment were down. The seasonal losses in December are typical, led by seasonal losses in seafood processing, construction, and leisure and hospitality.

Statewide, December marks the ninth month in a row of over-the-year employment losses. As 2009 progressed, the number of industries with employment losses grew. By December only educational and health services ­ more specifically health care and social assistance - and government remained positive, reported Fried.

jpg Labor Force by Borough & Census Area...

Click on the chart to view a larger image.
Courtesy Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development



Source of News:

Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development


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Ketchikan, Alaska