JUNEAU, Alaska — October’s job count was 2.0 percent above October 2021, a gain of 6,100 jobs. Most industries were up over the year but remained below 2019 levels. Overall, Alaska was down 10,800 jobs from the October before the pandemic began.
Although Alaska had moved past the peak visitor period by October, a small number of cruise ships continued to arrive through the middle of the month. Leisure and hospitality, along with the transportation, warehousing and utilities sector, were the biggest gainers — up 2,900 (9.7 percent) and 2,000 (9.6 percent) respectively over 2021 levels as local demand for eating and drinking and visitor demand for travel and accommodation picked up from last year. Transportation employment rose above pre-pandemic levels, and leisure and hospitality remained 1,700 jobs below.
The oil and gas industry’s recovery continued to lag the rest of the economy. Oil and gas employment was 300 above last year but still 2,700 below October 2019. This October’s industry job count (7,100) was less than half that of October 2014, just before the one-two punch of the recession and then COVID.
Although most industries were up from year-ago levels, state and federal government and private education and health employment were lower than a year ago. The biggest losses came from state government (-900) and education and health (-400), a category that includes private social services, which registered the bulk of the losses. The federal government was down 100 jobs over the year.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, up a tenth of a percentage point from September. The comparable U.S. rate was 3.7 percent, up from 3.5 percent the month before.