Retail employment takes biggest hit

State labor officials say an estimated 0.3 percent, or 1,100 jobs were lost in October, compared to October 2017, with the biggest loss being 800 retail jobs.

Professional and business services and manufacturing, mostly seafood processing, lost 400 jobs each over the year, while financial activities lost 300 jobs and the oil and gas industry 100 jobs.

The number of construction jobs rose by 300, mainly through increased activity in Anchorage and the Interior. Other areas of job growth were 600 in health care, 200 in transportation, warehousing and utilities, and 100 in leisure and hospitality.

Public sector jobs were flat over the year. The federal government added 100 jobs, local governments lost 100 and state government job numbers remained the same.

Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.4 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from September. The national rate remained at 3.7 percent.

Areas of highest unemployment rates were the Kusilvak census area, 15.6 percent, plus Lake and Peninsula Borough, Yukon-Koyukuk census area, Northwest Arctic Borough, Bethel census area and Hoonah-Angoon census area, all over 10 percent.