JUNEAU, Alaska — September’s job count was 3.8 percent above September 2020, an increase of 11,600 but still 25,500 jobs below September 2019 levels.
Industries hit hardest by COVID-19 grew the most, although few have regained pre-pandemic job levels. Leisure and hospitality added 4,700 jobs compared to last September but remained 9,000 below September 2019. Trade, transportation and utilities gained 2,900 jobs over the year, but was still 5,200 below September 2019.
Oil and gas employment remained below year-ago levels. At 6,700 jobs, the sector had about 200 fewer than last September and 3,100 fewer than 2019. Oil and gas employment appeared to bottom out late last year at around 6,100 jobs.
Local government had 400 more jobs than last September but 2,000 fewer than September 2019, and public education appears to be the main reason. State government employment was down 100 from last year and down 900 from 2019. Many public schools and university campuses operated remotely during the 2019-2020 school year, but this school year began mostly in person. Federal employment was down 700 from last September, with the conclusion of the 2020 Census, but up 200 from 2019.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent in September. The comparable U.S. rate decreased from 5.2 percent to 4.8 percent.
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