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Alaska's January Unemployment Rate 8.9 Percent
Ketchikan's January Unemployment Rate 11.8 percent


February 27, 2004
Friday - 1:00 am

Alaska's unemployment rate climbed to 8.9 percent in January, up five tenths of a percentage point from December's revised rate of 8.4 percent which was earlier reported by the Alaska Department of Labor as 8.0 percent. According to the Alaska Department of Labor, the state's rate historically reaches its high point for the year in January or February

Labor Force by Region
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and then begins to fall as seasonal employment picks up.

The comparable national rate (not seasonally adjusted) for January was 6.3 percent. Dan Robinson, an economist with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, reported the numbers.

Five of the state's six economic regions recorded higher rates in January, the exception being in the Gulf Coast where seasonal jobs related to Kodiak's January crab fishery pushed the rate lower.

Anchorage's unemployment rate remained substantially lower that other areas in the state, increasing from 5.6 percent in December to 6.0 percent in January. Fairbanks saw a larger increase, from 7.1 percent to 8.0 percent.

At 7.5 percent, Juneau's rate remained well below those of other Southeast boroughs and census areas. Sitka is the only other community in Southeast that does not have a double-digit unemployment rate.

The Ketchikan Gateway Borough's unemployment rate for January was reported at 11.8 percent, up from December's 9.6 percent. (For more information about Ketchikan's Labor Force, click here).

January's unemployment rate for Prince of Wales was 20.2 percent, up from December's 16.0 percent.


Wage and salary employment estimates for January showed a decline of 5,500 jobs statewide over the month. The biggest decline was in government, where several federal agencies including the National Park service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Postal Service made expected seasonal cutbacks. State and local government employment also fell modestly as expected in January according to the Alaska Department of Labor.

Other significant employment losses statewide came in construction, retail trade, and food services and drinking places. Manufacturing jobs increased in January behind the strength of seafood processing activity.

According to an Alaska Department of Labor news release, comparisons to last year show that Alaska has added about 5,700 jobs since January 2003. Health care and social services employment continues to show strong growth as does the construction industry. The most significant over the year employment losses have come from the oil industry which is estimated to have about 400 fewer jobs than in January 2003.




Source of News & Charts:

Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development
Web Site


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