Jobs drop 7.7% from December 2019

State labor officials say jobs in Alaska totaled 290,400, in December, a loss of 24,100 jobs, or 7.7 percent compared to December 2019, as the pandemic continued to keep employment well below year-ago levels.

Preliminary data for the Valdez-Cordova Census Area, however, showed that the rate of not seasonally adjusted unemployment stood at 7.5 percent in December of 2020, compared to 8.3 percent in November 2020 and 9.6 percent in December 2019.

Leisure and hospitality continued to record the largest losses, with 8,600 fewer jobs than a year ago, down 27.3 percent. The transportation, warehousing and utilities sector had 2,600 fewer jobs, down 12.6 percent.  Oil and gas employment was down 32 percent, or 3,200 jobs, and professional and business services lost 2,000 jobs, or 7.4 percent.

State government employment was up by 500 jobs from December 2019, primarily from COVID-related hires such as contract tracers and additional staff to process unemployment insurance claims.