State unemployment rate flat in October

Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- Alaska's unemployment rate remained at 6.3 percent in October, unchanged from the previous month, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported.

The better-than-expected jobless rate contrasted from September when labor officials saw unemployment dip by a half percent. That indicates that an expected seasonal drop in jobs came a month earlier than expected, said labor economist Dan Robinson.

The seafood industry in particular appeared to have slowed considerably in October as quotas for pink salmon were reached early, Robinson said.

Alaska's October unemployment rate was seven-tenths of a percent higher than the same time last year. Unemployment was 5.7 percent in October 2001.

Unemployment in Anchorage fell to 4.6 percent, down from 4.8 percent in September.

The Aleutians East Borough had the lowest unemployment rate at 3.3 percent. The Wade Hampton census area in Southwestern Alaska had the highest rate at 18.3 percent.

A total of 21,039 Alaskans were unemployed in October. The comparable national average was 6.8 percent for October.

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