Ketchikan's at 8.6 percent
May 26, 2010
The comparable national rate for April was 9.9 percent, up from 9.7 percent in March.
According to a labor report by Neal Fried, Economist with the Alaska Department of Labor, the monthly unemployment rates for both Alaska and the U.S. were higher than they were in April 2009, but Alaska's picture is still brighter than the nation's. In fact, last year was the first year since 1982 that Alaska's annual unemployment rate came in below the nation's.
Fried noted in his report that April also marked the 15th month in a row that Alaska's monthly jobless rate was lower than the nation's. The slight improvement in Alaska's jobless rate is a positive sign for the state's job market, and despite the increase in the national unemployment rate, the nation's employment has been growing since January. That could eventually help take some pressure off Alaska's labor market if it translates into fewer job seekers heading north looking for work. Whether that happens in 2010 or 2011 is still not clear. However, since Alaska's jobless picture remains considerably better than in most other states, Alaska will probably remain a relatively attractive place to look for work through 2010.
Despite those signs of subtle improvement, Fried reported that there are indicators that continue to point to a very competitive job market for Alaskans. Claims for unemployment insurance - an important ingredient in the calculation of the state's unemployment rate - increased in April and were still running higher than year-ago levels.
The not seasonally adjusted jobless rates fell from March to April in nearly all regions of the state - a typical seasonal occurrence. In most cases, the unemployment rates for April were less than a percentage point higher than year-ago levels, and in several boroughs and census areas they fell.
Ketchikan's non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April fell to 8.6 percent. March's rate was reported at 10.4 percent. 8,054 people were reported in Ketchikan's civilian work force in April, up from 7,608 in March. There were 691 unemployed in April, down from 789 reported as unemployed in March.
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