State employment down slightly

Borough unemployment down from recent years

Data shows the borough’s annual unemployment rate through the years. (Graphic by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Data shows the borough’s annual unemployment rate through the years. (Graphic by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Statewide, employment in December was down .3 percent, or 900 jobs, from December 2017, according to new data from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Retail, manufacturing and professional and business services each lost 400 jobs while information and financial activities each fell by 200, the state’s press release said.

Health care grew with 400 jobs. Transportation, warehousing and utilities also added 200 jobs, as did the hospitality, mining, construction and logging industries.

According to the state’s press release, government employment fell .6 percent or around 500 lost jobs.

State unemployment rate for December was 6.3 percent.

Unemployment rates rose in 16 of Alaska’s boroughs and fell in 11. Kusilvak Census area has the highest unemployment rate at 18.0 percent, while Sitka’s rate was lowest at 4.4 percent.

Locally, the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s December unemployment rate was 7.6 percent, up by 0.1 percent from November, and down by 1.3 percent from December 2017.

The 2018 annual unemployment rate was at 7.8 percent, the lowest it’s been on the state’s record, according to the state’s research and analysis site. However, the state changed how they calculated labor statistics in 2010, so data prior to 2010 is not comparable to more recent stats.

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