JUNEAU, Alaska—Alaska’s employment was up an estimated 0.4 percent in October, or 1,400 jobs, from October 2018. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 6.2 percent while the comparable national rate rose to 3.6 percent.
Oil and gas gained the most jobs (500), followed by construction (400). Leisure and hospitality, professional and business services and health care each added 300 jobs over the year.
Alaska lost 500 state government jobs, primarily due to budget cuts at the University of Alaska. Local government was flat over the year and federal employment increased by 100 as the U.S. Census Bureau hired short-term workers in preparation for the 2020 Census.
As expected in the fall, not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates went up in most boroughs and census areas. The lowest rate by far was in Aleutians East Borough (2.5 percent), followed by Juneau (4.2 percent) and Aleutians West Census Area (4.3 percent).
Unemployment rates more than doubled from last month in the state’s most tourism-heavy areas, putting Denali at 9.2 percent and Skagway at 6.9 percent. Rural areas had the highest rates, with Kusilvak Census Area at 15.2 percent and rates exceeding 10 percent in the Bethel Census Area, Northwest Arctic Borough, Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area and Hoonah-Angoon Census Area. Urban areas’ rates were below the statewide average, with Anchorage at 4.7 percent, Fairbanks at 4.9 percent and Juneau at 4.2 percent.