Unemployment grows in Alaska

Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2008

JUNEAU - The state of Alaska reported the highest unemployment rate since February 2005.

State labor officials said the unemployment rate rose four-tenths of a percent in May, for a seasonally adjusted rate of 7 percent.

State Labor Economist Dan Robinson said the one bright spot in Alaska is the oil and gas industry.

All the other sectors seem relatively soft, which could be the result of high oil and gasoline prices, he said.

The oil and gas industry added 1,200 jobs from a year ago.

Construction jobs are down 700 from last year, and other job sectors area growing by small amounts.

Total number of unemployed last month was estimated at more than 24,000, up nearly 4,000 from this time last year.

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