Too early to tell COVID-19 impact on jobs

Jobs in Alaska were up by 1,300 in February over the February a year ago, a boost of 0.4 percent, but none of the data capture the impact of the evolving coronavirus pandemic.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.8 percent, while the comparable national rate remained at 3.6 percent.

As of February, Alaska Department of Labor officials said the state continued to add jobs.

State labor officials said growth was widespread in the private sector, including manufacturing primarily in seafood processing, but that numbers there may vary considerably by month and year. The strongest gains in industry were some 500 jobs in the oil and gas sector 500 in health care and 400 in construction.

Employment fell in state and local government, while federal government offices added 100 jobs, primarily due to the 2020 Census.