State's unemployment rate up less than percent

Posted: Friday, October 19, 2001

JUNEAU (AP) -- Unemployment rose by less than a percent in Alaska during September to 5.2 percent as the tourism season ended, the state labor department said Friday.

Alaska had 17,147 unemployed residents in September, up by about 500 from the previous month, according to a report from the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Initial unemployment claims jumped 25 percent to 6,380, the department said. That figure is nearly 300 below new claims in September 2000.

The comparable national unemployment rate for September was 4.7 percent. The rate is not adjusted for seasonal variations.

Monthly wage and salary employment fell by about 5,200 jobs, which the department attributed to a seasonal decline. The state unemployment rate was unchanged from September 2000.

''Alaska's unemployment rate is still near record lows, and current indicators suggest the state's economy is continuing to grow at a modest rate,'' said state labor economist Dan Robinson.

Nearly half of the state's job growth this year has come from the service sector, adding 2,900 jobs since September 2000, the department said. Construction and government employment added 900 jobs.

Statewide unemployment in August was 5 percent.

Unemployment rose to 4.4 percent in Juneau, up from 3.8 percent in August. Unemployment in the Southeast region rose by a half percent to 5 percent.

Unemployment in Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna Borough rose by a tenth of a percent to 4.2 percent.

Fairbanks unemployment rose three-tenths of a percent to 4.7 percent.

Unemployment in the Interior rose two-tenths of a percent to 5.1 percent.

Unemployment fell to 16.4 percent in the Wade Hampton census area in Western Alaska. That area continued to have the highest unemployment rate in the state.

Sitka and the Aleutians East Borough had the lowest unemployment rate at 3.2 percent.

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