Annual Boat Parade'
Front Page Photo by Carl Thompson
Ketchikan/ Statewide: November
Unemployment Rises Slightly - Alaska's unemployment rate
rose four-tenths of a percentage point in November to 7.0 percent.
The increase is typical for this time of year according to Dan
Robinson, an economist at the Alaska Department of Labor and
Workforce Development. Preliminary numbers suggest that the average
monthly unemployment rate in 2004 will be at least slightly lower
than in 2003.
Ketchikan's unemployment rate
rose six-tenths of a percentage point to 8.6 percent. Anchorage's
rate was unchanged at 4.8 percent and was the lowest in the state
in November. Fairbanks' unemployment rate rose five-tenths of
a percentage point to 5.6 percent and Juneau's rate fell one-tenth
of a percentage point to 5.8 percent. Wade Hampton recorded the
state's highest November unemployment rate at 23.8 percent.
In a comparison of Alaska's
six economic regions throughout 2004, Anchorage/Mat-Su unemployment
rates have been the state's lowest. The Interior region has also
seen relatively healthy unemployment rates, consistently recording
numbers below the statewide average. At the other end of the
spectrum, unemployment rates in the Northern and Southwest regions
have been more than twice the statewide average for much of 2004.
Preliminary November payroll
estimates show a decline of 8,700 jobs from October. The biggest
losses came from seasonal industries that typically shed employment
as winter approaches according to Robinson. Construction jobs
fell by 2,400, manufacturing by 2,900 (mostly seafood processing),
and leisure and hospitality by 1,500.
Alaska has 3,300 more jobs
than in November 2003, an over-the-year growth rate of 1.1 percent.
Most industrial sectors have contributed, with education and
health services leading the way with 1,600 new jobs. The trade,
transportation, and utilities sector has added 1,100 and construction
has added 700. Employment in the natural resources and mining
sector is up 400 from a year ago, a notable change given that
jobs in natural resources declined in both 2002 and 2003. These
gains were slightly offset by small declines in government, other
services, and manufacturing. - More...
Monday - December 20, 2004