Alaska job numbers up 2.8% in October

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 9:23 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska’s job numbers are moving in the right direction, according to the most recent report from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, as the state saw 8,500 new jobs this October compared to a year ago.

While the 2.8% uptick in jobs over 2020 is encouraging, it’s still 15,800 below 2019 job numbers, according to state economist Neil Fried.

“We’re definitely in that recovery phase, but it’s going to take a while,” Fried said.

Two big sectors contributed to the rise in jobs: trade, transportation and utilities — which added 2,900 jobs over the previous year — and leisure and hospitality, which also added 2,900 jobs, according to the department of labor job report.

While the job market continues to play catch-up with prepandemic job numbers, Fried feels there are economic drivers in the future that can help.

“One big thing is going to be this year’s visitors season,” Fried said. “They are predicting in some cases as good a season as 2019.”

He added the latest federal infrastructure bill will bring jobs to Alaska and help boost the state’s economy, but impacts from that will likely not be felt until past 2022.

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