Employment continues to drop in Kenai Peninsula

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KENAI, Alaska (AP) Employment continued to drop in the Kenai Peninsula Borough in 2017, continuing a yearslong trend onset by the oil and gas industry's financial struggles.

The Peninsula Clarion reported Sunday that the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District's summary says the borough lost 271 jobs over the course of the year. In comparison, the borough lost 965 jobs between June 2015 and June 2016.

The borough's unemployment rate rose to 8.7 percent from 7.7 percent.

Most of the job losses over the last five years have been in oil and gas, which are some of the highest paying jobs in the state. However, in the first two quarters of 2017, the Kenai Peninsula added 20 oil and gas jobs.