Jobless rate holds steady

Posted: Monday, September 20, 2010

Alaska's unemployment rate held steady at a seasonally adjusted 7.7 percent in August, the same as July, but down three-tenths of a percent from August of last year as the economy steadily improves.

The national unemployment rate went up one-tenth of a percent, to 9.6 percent, for the same month. The nation's rate was just below last year's 9.7 percent.

Alaska's unemployment rate is approaching two years below the national level, said state labor economist Neil Fried.

At the same time, the local Juneau unemployment rate, which is not seasonally adjusted, climbed to 5.5 percent in August, up from 5.1 percent in July of this year and 5.4 percent from August of the previous year.

Despite the Juneau unemployment rate being up compared to last year, there were actually fewer unemployed workers, as the capital city's ranks of unemployed dipped below 1,000, to 989, in August.

Juneau typically has one of the state's lowest unemployment levels, but in August the state's lowest unemployment rates were posted by communities with economies based almost entirely on either fishing or tourism.

The Bristol Bay Borough posted the state's lowest unemployment rate at 1.8 percent, followed by Skagway at 2.7 percent, Denali Borough at 3.3 percent and Haines at 4.3 percent.

Other Southeast rates include Sitka at 5.2 percent, Ketchikan at 5.5 percent, Wrangell-Petersburg at 6.7 percent, Yakutat at 7.7 Hoonah-Angoon at 9.2 percent and Prince of Wales Island at 13.1 percent.

• Contact Pat Forgey at 523-2250 or

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