SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Statewide Unemployment Rate at 8.7 Percent in November
Ketchikan's Unemployment Rate Rises to 8.6 Percent


December 21, 2009

(SitNews) - Alaska's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.7 percent in November according to the labor report recently released by the Alaska Department of Labor.. October's preliminary rate of 8.9 percent was revised down two-tenths of a percentage point to 8.7 percent.

jpg Labor Force by Borough

Labor Force By Alaska Borough & Census Area
Click on the image to view a larger chart.
Courtesy Alaska Department of Labor

Ketchikan non-seasonally adjusted unemployed rate rose to 8.6 percent, up from October's unemployment rate of 7.7 percent -- an increase on nine-tenths of a percentage point.. Of Ketchikan's civilian workforce, 664 were reported unemployed in November. This was an increase in the number reported in October. The number of civilian workers reported as unemployed in October was 613.

According to Dan Robinson, an economist with the Alaska Department of Labor's Research and Analysis Section, the Alaska's rate remains well below the national rate, which fell two-tenths of a percentage point in November to 10.0 percent.

According to the report released by Robinson, Alaska's statewide rate has been up and down for much of 2009, due more likely to statistical variability than real economic swings. November's rate is only slightly higher than March's 8.4 percent, and October's large increase of six-tenths of a percentage point was moderated by the subsequent downward revision.

The bottom line, in terms of what the unemployment rate is saying about the state's labor market, is that things don't appear to be getting significantly worse or better reported Robinson.

Robinson stated as is often the case, the job numbers reveal a clearer picture of what's happening with the state's economy. Total payroll jobs in November were down by about 3,300 compared to November 2008, a decline of 1.1 percent. Nationally, the over-the-year job losses in November remained noticeably higher at 3.4 percent.

Alaska's numbers showed that nearly every sector lost jobs with the exceptions of health care, which was up by an estimated 1,700 jobs over the year, and government, which was up 700.

Shifting to the over-the-month changes, the job numbers showed a large decline from October to November driven mostly by normal seasonal drops in construction and seafood processing. Jobs in accommodations, and food services and drinking places also fell significantly in November, as they typically do, reported Robinson.

Source of News & Graphics:

Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development

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Ketchikan, Alaska