Unemployment rate unchanged

Alaska’s seasonolly adjusted unemployment rate was 6.5 percent in January, essentially unchanged from December’s revised 6.6 percent, and comparable with the national rate of 4.8 percent.

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development said January’s not-seasonally adjusted rate was 7.2 percent, up six-tenths of a percentage pint from December, which is a typical seasonal increase.

Unadjusted rates rose in 25 of 29 boroughs and census areas and jumped a percentage point or more in 15.  Winter fisheries buoyed the boroughs and census areas with January rate decreases.

The highest unemployment rate was in Skagway, at 21.2 percent, and Aleutians East Borough was lowest, at 2.4 percent.

Preliminary estimates show employment was down 6,800 jobs, or 2.1 percent, compared to the previous January. Substantial losses in oil, construction and state government made up most of the decline. Professional and business services connected with oil and construction activity also saw significant losses, while health care and local government added jobs.