October 24, 2005
Statewide, Alaska's unemployment rate rose three-tenths of a percentage point in September to 6.0 percent, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Despite the monthly increase, the statewide rate remains below last September's rate of 6.5 percent. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which attempts to remove seasonal hires and layoffs from the numbers and reflect more structural changes in the labor market, declined steadily through the first half of 2005 from January's high of 7.3 percent to a low of 6.3 percent in June. Since June the rate has increased half a percentage point to 6.8 percent.
With a few exceptions, unemployment rates in the state's boroughs and census areas generally increased slightly or remained at the same levels. Anchorage saw a small increase from 4.9 percent to 5.1 percent, while the rate in Fairbanks rose from 4.6 percent to 5.0 percent. Juneau's unemployment rate stayed at 4.7 percent. Denali had the lowest September rate at 2.7 percent and Wade Hampton had the highest at 19.5 percent.
Statewide, preliminary estimates
of wage and salary employment show that the state has added about
5,000 jobs since September 2004. The growth has come from almost
every economic sector, but has been strongest in the education
and health services category, which is made up mostly of health
care and social services jobs, according to the Alaska Department
of Labor and Workforce Development. The construction and leisure
and hospitality sectors have also added a significant number
of jobs and gains in seafood processing pushed manufacturing
numbers higher. Statewide, an over-the-year increase of more
than 300 oil and gas jobs combined with strong interest in mineral
mining to create 500 more jobs in the natural resources and mining
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