The Alaska Department of Labor released the July unemployment numbers today. Alaska’s seasonally adjusted rate was 6.3% in July, up three-tenths of a percent from June’s revised rate. Alaska is still well below the national average of 7.4%. The not-seasonally adjusted rate was 5.9%, which is down six-tenths of a percent from June. Declines are typical between June and July due to summer employment in the tourism and fishing industries.
Bristol Bay Borough and the Municipality of Skagway have the lowest unemployment rates in the state at 1.1% and 2.3% respectively. Both areas depend heavily on a single summer industry. In Bristol Bay it’s salmon fishing and in Skagway it’s tourism. Summer Pollock and salmon fisheries are in full swing by July in the Aleutians, which is the reason for the drop in unemployment during the summer months.
Both the national rate and Alaska’s rate dropped eight-tenths of a percent from where they were one year ago.