Jobs down 0.3 percent from last July

Employment in Alaska was down by an estimated 0.3 percent in July, compared to July 2017, according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Some 900 jobs were lost in the retail sector. Oil and gas positions declined by 500 jobs over the year and professional and business services lost 300 jobs.

Employment in the construction industry grew by 300 jobs through increased activity in Anchorage and the Interior, while health care added 900 jobs; transportation, warehousing and utilities 200 jobs; leisure and hospitality 200 jobs, and manufacturing 100 jobs.

Public sector employment fell by 300 jobs. The federal government added 200 jobs while the state government lost 300 and local government 200 positions.

Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped for the third time this year. July’s rate of 6.9 percent was down from 7.1 percent in June and down four-tenths of a percentage point for the beginning of the year.

The comparable national unemployment rate was 3.9 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from June.

Not-seasonally adjusted rates fell in every borough and census area, following an expected seasonal growth pattern as tourism, construction and fishing approach their annual peak activity. The lowest rates of unemployment were in the Aleutians East and Bristol Bay boroughs, each at 1.7 percent.  Summer tourism lowered unemployment rates in Skagway and the Denali Borough to 3.0 percent. Kusilvak Census Area had the highest unemployment rate at 22.2 percent. The Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Northwest Arctic Borough, Bethel Census Area and Nome Census Area all topped 10 percent.

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