JUNEAU, Alaska — July’s job count was up 5.8 percent from July 2020, an increase of 17,700 but still 30,100 below July 2019 levels.
Industries hit hardest last year grew the most, although few have reached their pre-pandemic employment levels. Leisure and hospitality was up 5,100 jobs over last July but remained 10,800 below July 2019. Trade, transportation and utilities gained 5,200 jobs over the year but was still 6,000 below 2019.
Oil and gas was the only major industry with fewer jobs this July than a year ago. The industry lost more than 4,000 jobs during 2020, falling to as low as 6,100 late last year, the lowest level in decades. A big economic question for the state this year has been when those jobs would start to return. The July estimate of 6,800 jobs, along with small upward revisions to previous months’ numbers, suggests modest signs of recovery in those high-wage jobs.
Local government’s job count increased by 600 but remained 2,900 lower than July 2019. State government employment was up 100 from last year and 1,100 down from 2019. Federal employment was higher than both years, by 400 and 700, respectively.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained 6.6 percent in July. The comparable U.S. rate fell from 5.9 percent to 5.4 percent.