August 22, 2005
According to the Alaska Department
of Labor and Workforce Development, Ketchikan's unemployment
rate for July fell below the state's reported unemployment rate
of 5.8 percent and below Anchorage's unemployment rate of 5.0
percent , Fairbanks' 5.1 percent and Juneau's unemployment rate
of 4.8 percent.
Through the first seven months of 2005, statewide unemployment rates have been noticeably lower than in 2004, and July's statewide 5.8 percent rate is the lowest since May 2001. According to Dan Robinson, an economist with the Department, the state's labor market may be heating up.
"There were fewer unemployed Alaskans in July than there have been for almost four years and preliminary estimates indicate that payroll employment growth is stronger than in recent years," Robinson said.
The Denali Borough had the state's lowest rate at 2.0 percent and Wade Hampton had the highest at 25.4 percent.
Statewide preliminary estimates of payroll employment show an over-the-month increase of 8,000 jobs. Seafood processing added 6,900 jobs in July as the salmon fi sheries neared peak production, while the construction and hospitality industries hit full stride as well. Government employment fell by 4,000 in July due mostly to the summer academic break.
Since July 2004 the state has
added 4,900 jobs for a growth rate of 1.5 percent. Industry leaders
continue to be health care, construction, retail trade and restaurants.
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