State says March jobs up 0.3% from 2018
State employment in March was up some 0.3%, 1,000 jobs, from March 2018, the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development said April 19.
There were 317,300 private sector jobs in Alaska in March and 81,300 government jobs, compared to 316,300 private jobs in March 2018 and 81,500 government jobs, department data show.
The largest increase was in construction, up 1,100 jobs, followed by health care and the transportation, warehousing and utilities sector, both of which added some 400 jobs.
The gain in construction jobs comes against a loss of 1,500 construction jobs in 2017. In a Nov. 14 presentation to the Resource Development Councilís annual meeting, Neal Fried, an economist with the department, said construction last year was down to where is was in 2001, with a lot more recovery required.
Fried was discussing the current recession, which at three years is the stateís longest, he said. While employment figures could start to turn around in 2019, he said, actual economic recovery would take several years.
March figures show manufacturing, mostly seafood processing, lost 500 jobs from March 2018 to March 2019, the biggest year-over-year decline, the department said, while professional and business services fell by 300.
The federal job count was down by 200 and the local government job count by 100, while state government gained 100 jobs.
The department said the seasonally adjusted February unemployment rate remained at 6.5%, compared to a national rate of 3.8%.
In the oil and gas industry, there were 9,600 jobs in March, the same as February, but up 200, 2.1%, from March 2018.
- KRISTEN NELSON