The State of Alaska’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development published the March unemployment rate on Friday. Alaska’s seasonally adjusted rate jumped slightly to 6.6 percent and sits only one-tenth of a percent below the national average. Alaska has stayed relatively steady while the national average has continued to drop. The Department of Labor notes that it is becoming increasingly evident that the national average will soon drop below Alaska’s rate. This is more likely due to the fact that the national average more than doubled from the pre-recession level and not relating to any major change in Alaska. The national average was typically lower than Alaska’s rate, but the state did not see the sharp increase in 2008/09 that the rest of the nation saw.
The not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate began its spring time decline. Most boroughs and census areas experienced drops in unemployment as seasonal work began to ramp up for the summer season. As was the case in February, The North Slope Borough had the lowest rate in the state with unemployment at 4.3 percent. The Wade Hampton Census Area jumped above Hoonah-Angoon Census Area with a rate of 25.8 percent, the highest in the state during March.
Detailed employment estimates can be found at http://live.laborstats.alaska.gov/ces/