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Alaska’s October job count down 8.8% compared to last October

(Associated Press)
Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 7:00 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development says as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it will keep job numbers low.

A new report from the DOLWD shows the state’s October job count was down 8.8% from last October. To put that in numbers, it’s about 28,900 jobs. The Leisure and hospitality industry was hit the hardest with 9,600 fewer jobs than last October.

“Every industry’s employment was down except the federal government, which was up 200 because of its temporary 2020 Census hires,” DOLWD wrote in a press release.

Other industries hit hard include the transportation, warehousing and utilities sector with 4,700 fewer jobs, Oil and gas with 3,000 and the professional and business services sector with 2,500 jobs.

According to DOLWD, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.9% in October.

But DOLWD pointed out, “Jobs and unemployment insurance claims are better indicators of the state’s economic health than the unemployment rate, however, which has fallen in recent months because of difficulties conducting a key household survey during a pandemic and technical issues with the model the Bureau of Labor Statistics uses to calculate the rate.”

The same issues had an impact on the state’s not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for boroughs and census areas.

According to the Associated Press, the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose last week to 742,000.

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