Alaska adds jobs, unemployment drops over past year

FastCast morning digital headlines for Friday, Oct. 20, 2023.
Published: Oct. 20, 2023 at 1:11 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The latest report to come from the state labor department largely shows jobs were added over a one-year span and unemployment dropped as well, continuing a general upward trend from the COVID-19 pandemic employment crash.

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported that the statewide job count saw a 2% bump, roughly equating to 6,600 openings. The department cited gains in the leisure and hospitality industry — powered by Alaska’s cruise ship season — as the biggest generator of new jobs with a 3.6% boost.

The study looked at statistics over a one-year span, from Sept. 2022 to Sept. 2023.

The healthcare sector also saw a rise in about 1,400 jobs, followed by the professional and business services sector (plus 700) and manufacturing (plus 600).

The only two industries that lost jobs were those in the financial activities (down 1.8%) and information (down 4.2%) sectors.

The report shows that the region in Alaska that saw the biggest gains were Southwest Alaska (up 7.7% in job numbers) and the Gulf Coast (up 5%). Interior Alaska saw the lowest gain, a reported 0.7% bump. Anchorage and the Mat-Su saw a combined 1.5% jump in job numbers.

Earlier this year, the department reported that Alaska’s job numbers are generally trending higher than the national average in many categories.

While job numbers are looking up, economic experts have previously warned that there may not be as many workers to fill them, saying this summer that the working resident population dropped from 2021 to 2022.