Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson
Unemployment Declines - Ketchikan's unemployment rate reportedly
fell seven-tenths of a percentage point in April to 8.5 percent
with 6,540 of a labor force of 7,146 employed.
Statewide, Alaska's unemployment
rate fell five-tenths of a percentage point in April to 7.3 percent
and the state added about 1,800 wage and salary jobs. The comparable
national rate (not seasonally adjusted) fell six-tenths of a
percentage point to 5.4 percent. Dan Robinson, an economist with
the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, reported
Four of the state's six economic
regions recorded noticeable lower unemployment rates in April,
with the biggest decline coming in Southeast where the rate fell
from 9.0 percent to 7.4 percent. The Anchorage/Mat-Su, Gulf Coast,
and Interior regions all saw smaller declines.
The Northern regions' unemployment
rate changed very little in April, falling one-tenth of a percentage
point from 15.1 percent to 15.0 percent. Unemployment jumped
from 12.2 percent to 14.9 percent in the Southwest region due
to a normal seasonal lull in the groundfish fisheries.
Claims for unemployment insurance,
one of the inputs used to calculate the unemployment rate, were
down from 15,115 in March to 13,310 in April. The April claims
number was also down from the year-ago level of 14,139.
Wage and salary employment
growth was widespread in April, with the biggest increases coming
in construction and the leisure and the hospitality sector. Specifically,
the accommodations industry added about 200 jobs statewide while
food services and drinking places added 800. Retail trade employment
grew by about 600 jobs in April while manufacturing had a large
seasonal decline of 2,800 jobs due to seasonal fluctuations in
fishing and seafood processing.
Over-the-year job growth statewide
has been strongest in health care, social services and in retail
trade. Jobs in the natural resources and mining sector were down
300 from April 2003 and government employment was unchanged.
Monday - May 24, 2004