Job losses down 7.4 percent from last November

Cordova, Alaska. (Dec. 21, 2020) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

From leisure and hospitality to oil and gas and business services, employment numbers continue to slide in Alaska, due to the economic impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

For the Valdez-Cordova Census Area, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 6.6 percent in November of 2019 to 8.4 percent this November, while for the Gulf Coast region overall, unemployment rose from 7.3 percent last November to 9.9 percent this November.

According to the latest Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development data, some 293,500 people were employed statewide in November, a loss of 23,500 jobs from November of 2019.

There were 7,000 fewer jobs in leisure and hospitality, down 22 percent. Transportation, warehousing and utilities jobs were down by 3,100, or 14.9 percent, oil and gas jobs down 2,900, or 29.9 percent and professional and business service jobs by 2,200 jobs, or 8.1 percent.

Labor officials said jobs and unemployment insurance claims remain better barometers of the state’s economy than the unemployment rate at this time. Job losses remain historically large and unemployment claims during the second week of November were still about five times higher than for the same time a year ago.

Problems with calculating the state’s unemployment rate also affected the rates for Alaska’s boroughs and census areas, they noted.