Unemployment rate rises in September

Posted: Friday, October 18, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- Alaska's unemployment rate rose to 6.3 percent in September, up more than a percent from the figure a year ago, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday.

Alaska unemployment rose less than a percentage point from August as tourism and other seasonal jobs left the state, the labor department said. Unemployment in August was 5.8 percent.

Despite the significant jump from September 2001, the state added 3,400 new jobs during that period, the labor department said. Alaska's labor force grew by nearly 11,000 during that period.

Anchorage's unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, up from 3.8 percent a year ago. Fairbanks' jobless rate was 5.1 percent, compared to 4.7 percent of a year ago. Juneau's unemployment rose to 4.6 percent from 4.4 percent a year ago.

The southwestern region gained about 15 jobs compared to a year ago while the labor force grew nearly 3 percent. The region's jobless rate was 11.8 percent, up from 9.3 percent last year.

The high and low jobless rates for the state were once again the Wade Hampton Census Area at 20.7 percent and the Aleutians East Borough at 3.5 percent.

The construction industry added 1,000 new jobs since September 2001, a 6 percent increase, and the service area and retail trade also added 3,000 jobs. Government added 1,700 jobs, led by strong growth in employment at the University of Alaska campuses. The oil and gas industries, seafood processing and logging accounted for the most job losses, the department said.

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