September 22, 2003
According to Dan Robinson, a labor economist with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the August unemployment data conform to a long-running pattern. "For more than twenty-five years Alaska has always recorded a decline in unemployment from July to August," Robinson said. "Despite Alaska's heavily seasonal labor market, which can show big monthly swings, certain annual patterns have held remarkably constant."
Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Ketchikan all recorded slightly lower rates in August. Ketchikan's unemployment rate was reported at 5.9 percent in August - a drop from July's unemployment rate of 6.6 percent. Last year, Ketchikan's unemployment rate for August of 2002 was reported at 8.3 percent.
The Denali Borough and the Aleutians East Borough shared the state's lowest unemployment rate of 3.5 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, the Wade Hampton Census Area had August's highest unemployment rate at 26.5 percent.
August estimates of wage and salary employment statewide show a slight over-the-month increase of 100 jobs. At 319,600, the state had approximately 1,800 more jobs in August of this year than it did in August of 2002, and appears well on its way to a sixteenth consecutive year of job growth according to the Alaska Department of Labor.
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