March 29, 2010
In Ketchikan's civilian work force, 810 were reported as unemployed in February. In January, the number reported as unemployed in Ketchikan's civilian labor force was 819, which was later revised to 807 by the department.
According to information provided by the department, as more information becomes available, data is revised every month for the previous month and at the end of every calendar year.
The civilian labor force in Ketchikan in February was reported as 7.500. The most recent number reported for January's workforce was 7,535.
Alaska's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged in February, holding at 8.5 percent. January's revised unemployment rate of 8.5 percent was the same as its preliminary rate.
The comparable national rate for February was 9.7 percent and it too was unchanged from January.
The unemployment rates for both Alaska and the U.S remain higher than they were a year ago but Alaska's picture is still better than the nation's - it remains below the national rate. The year 2009 was the first year since 1982 that Alaska had an annual unemployment rate that came in below the nation's. It appears Alaska is on track to repeat that in 2010.
That said, Alaska's February jobless rate is the highest rate for the month of February since 1992. There are plenty of indications that continue to point to a very competitive job market for Alaskans.
For example, statewide the number of weeks filed for regular unemployment claims was 9 percent higher in February than in January and 25 percent higher than year-ago.
The not seasonally adjusted jobless rates around the state inched up slightly in February, which is a typical seasonal occurrence. With the exception of Anchorage/Mat-Su, all the other regions in the state remained in the double digits in February.
The highest rate for that month was recorded in Southeast Alaska in the Skagway Municipality, where nearly a third of its labor force was unemployed. The lowest was in the Aleutians West Census Area.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics has implemented a change to the method used to produce statewide wage and salary employment estimates. That change has resulted in increased monthly volatility in the wage and salary estimates for many states, including Alaska. The increased volatility was evident in Alaska's statewide February employment estimates. Therefore, the department notes one should be very cautious in interpreting any over-the-year or month-to-month change for these monthly estimates.
The Quarterly Census of Employment
and Wages series may be a better source of information for trends
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