State's jobless rate steady

800 new construction jobs improve overall outlook for August

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2001

JUNEAU (AP) -- Alaska's August unemployment rate remained steady at 5 percent from the previous month, the state labor department said.

There were 16,639 Alaskans unemployed in August, down from 17,032 last month, according to a report from the Alaska Department of Labor.

Though steady from the prior month, the state's unemployment rate is slightly higher than a year ago when unemployment was 4.8 percent, the department said.

The comparable national unemployment rate for August is 4.9 percent.

The rate is not adjusted for seasonal variations.

Wage and salary employment in Alaska grew by about 1,200 jobs over the previous month, led by 800 new construction jobs, the department said. As the national unemployment rate climbs, state officials said it may impact Alaska.

''Layoffs and higher unemployment in the Lower 48 may bring more job seekers to Alaska and make migration out of the state less attractive than it has been in recent years,'' said Dan Robinson, an economist with the labor department.

Unemployment dropped slightly in the Interior, Northern and Southeast regions for the month.

August unemployment in the Fairbanks North Star Borough was 4.4 percent, in Juneau it was 3.8 percent and in Nome it was 11.2 percent.

The Anchorage and Matanu-ska-Susitna region unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent.

Unemployment in Kodiak jumped to 8.1 percent, up nearly four percentage points from July, the department said.

It was attributed to the fishing industry.

Unemployment remained highest in the Wade Hampton census area in Western Alaska, at 17.7 percent, up from 17.4 percent for both last month and August 2000.

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