Alaska’s unemployment rate went down in September compared to the previous month.
The state Department of Labor & Workforce Development puts the seasonally adjusted rate at 6.3 percent in September, a slight decrease from August and approximately the same level of unemployment Alaska saw from 2015 through 2017.
The rate in the Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna Borough was a combined 5.0 percent, down from 6.6 percent a year before. Unemployment was slightly lower in the Interior and Southeast but higher in the Kenai Peninsula, Prince William Sound, Southwest Alaska, and the Northern regions.
The total number of jobs grew by 3.8 percent, year over year. September’s job count was 11,600 more than the same month in 2020 but 25,500 shy of the level from September 2019. The leisure and hospitality sector had the biggest recovery, but the oil and gas sector is 3,100 jobs down from where it was at this time in 2019.
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.