JUNEAU, Alaska — March’s job count was 2.3 percent higher than March 2021, an increase of 6,800 jobs but still 11,900 below the same month in 2019, the year before the pandemic started.
The leisure and hospitality sector had 2,700 more jobs than last March but 2,800 fewer than March 2019. The trade, transportation and utilities sector was up by 2,200 jobs over the year and down 100 from 2019. Oil and gas had 7,200 total jobs — 500 above year-ago levels but 2,900 below the same month before the pandemic.
Local government was up by 700 jobs over the year but down 2,100 from March 2019, mainly in public education. State government employment fell 500 below last year’s level and 1,400 short of 2019. Most public schools and university campuses have operated in person this school year after a remote 2020-2021, resulting in higher employment. However, total state government employment fell over the year with the phase-out of temporary pandemic-related positions. Federal employment was down 100 from March 2021 and was slightly higher than its prepandemic level.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 5.0 percent in March. The comparable U.S. rate declined to 3.6 percent.