According to a press release from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD), July 2018 employment was down by an estimated 0.3 percent, or 900 jobs, compared to July 2017.

Retail suffered the biggest loss at 900 jobs. Oil and gas industries declined by 500 jobs over the year, and professional and business services lost 300 jobs.

Conversely, construction employment grew by 300 through increased activity in Anchorage and the Interior. Healthcare grew by 900 jobs; transportation, warehousing and utilities increased by 200; leisure and hospitality grew by 200 as well and manufacturing increased by 100 jobs.

The public sector fell by 300 jobs. Federal government added 200 jobs while state government lost 300 and local government fell by 200, the release said.

Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped for the third time this year. July’s rate of 6.9 percent was down from 7.1 percent in June and down four-tenths of a percentage point from the beginning of the year.

In comparison, the national unemployment rate was at 3.9 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from June.

Not-seasonally adjusted rates fell in every borough and census area, following an expected seasonal growth pattern when the trifecta of tourism, construction and fishing all approach their annual peak activity. The lowest rates were in the fishing-centered Aleutians East and Bristol Bay boroughs, each at 1.7 percent. Summer tourism pulled rates in Skagway and the Denali Borough down to 3.0 percent, dropping Skagway down from June’s 3.7 percent. The unemployment Rate in July 2017 was 3 percent as well for Skagway.

The highest unemployment rates were in rural areas with less commercial fishing activity or tourism. Kusilvak Census Area had the state’s highest rate at 22.2 percent, and the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Northwest Arctic Borough, Bethel Census Area, and Nome Census Area all topped 10 percent.

-DOLWD