(The Center Square) - Alaska’s job numbers have yet to recover from pre-pandemic levels though a few job sectors have, data from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development shows.
The state economy added 7,900 jobs since June last year but lags 20,100 below the job count in June 2019, the department said.
Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged in June from May’s revised rate of 4.6%. The U.S. rate was 3.6% in June. Alaska’s unemployment rate has trended above the national average since mid-2020, data shows.
As the state’s overall job count has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels, some sectors have recovered better than others. Construction, wholesale trade, health care, and the federal government have returned to pre-pandemic heights.
However, other industries continue to lag behind 2019 levels. Oil and gas remains 2,700 jobs below June 2019 numbers, warehousing and utilities has 2,100 less jobs than 2019, and retail trade is behind by 1,400 jobs. State government has 1,400 less jobs than pre-pandemic numbers, according to department data.
Local government showed a lack of 5,700 jobs, however the Department of Labor and Workforce Development said that number was artificially low due to slight timing differences between school years and that local government employment actually stands about 2,000 jobs below pre-pandemic levels seen in June 2019.
While Alaska has yet to return to job numbers seen before COVID-19, it has experienced improvement since 2021. The Leisure and hospitality industry experienced the strongest over-the-year growth by 10.7%, representing 38,200 total jobs. Before COVID-19, the industry had 42,800 jobs in Alaska, according to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.