Unemployment rate up but still low

Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska's unemployment rate rose in December, when about 18,650 people were jobless and looking for work.

December's rate was 5.8 percent, an expected seasonal increase from November's 5.6 percent rate, the state Labor Department said Friday.

Anchorage had the lowest unemployment rate in the state, holding steady at 3.7 percent in December. That rate represents about 5,550 unemployed workers, the department said.

The total number of unemployed was lower than during December 2000 in both Alaska and its largest city, the department said.

In other parts of the state, the December jobless rate was:

6.7 percent in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough; 10 percent in the Kenai Peninsula Borough; 12.9 percent in Kodiak; and 9.7 percent in the Valdez-Cordova area.

The national unemployment rate grew to 5.4 percent in December from 5.3 percent in November amid a Lower 48 recession, the department said.

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