DATA VIZ: Alaska unemployment slightly decreases to 6.4 percent in February

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(App users, to view the interactive data visualization, follow this link).

Update: The data visualization was updated to include Anchorage specific industry-type employment data, for February, sourced from the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation.

Data is sourced from a State of Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development press release, which also sources Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages data and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its preliminary report. As well as an Anchorage Economic Development Corporation spreadsheet.

According to the ADOLWD, “The official definition of unemployment excludes anyone who has not made an active attempt to find work in the four-week period up to and including the week that includes the 12th of the reference month.” Hence, many individuals in rural Alaska do not fit this definition. ADOLWD says that people can be deferred from conducting an active job search, due to “the scarcity of employment opportunities.” As a result, there is a high probability that Alaska’s unemployment rate is higher than currently calculated.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was at 6.4 percent, in February, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. In comparison, the national rate was at 4.7 percent.

Since January, there was a 0.1 percent decreases in unemployment, both statewide and nationally. And compared to one full year ago, in February 2016, Alaska’s unemployment rate dropped by 2.0 percent, as unemployment was down by approximately 6,500.

Alaska’s unadjusted unemployment rate, as displayed in the data visualization, was 7.4 percent.

The lowest rate of unemployment was in the Aleutians East Borough, at 1.7 percent. While the highest rate of unemployment was in the Denali Borough, at 21.4 percent.

Compared to unemployment rates of November 2016, the Aleutians East Borough decreased its unemployment rate by 2.6 percent, but rates of unemployment increased by 2.1 percent, in the Denali Borough.
[Read more on November 2016 unemployment rates, here].

As a whole, unemployment rates increased in 18 census areas and boroughs, decreased in 10, and remained static in one.

The lowest rates of unemployment conjugated in areas with winter fisheries, according to ADOLWD.

Refer to the data visualization for the specific breakdown of Alaska's shifting job market, by industry type, since February 2016.

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