Unemployment rate drops in Valdez-Cordova Census Area

Cordova Harbor. (Dec. 1, 2021) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Updates from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development show that unemployment rates in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area decline from 8.2% Dec. 21, 2020 to 7.8% as of Dec. 20, 2021.

State labor officials said December’s job count showed a 2.7% hike over December 2020, an increase of 8,000 jobs but was still 12,400 below the same month in 2019.

The leisure and hospitality sector had 3,300 more jobs than last December and 4,500 fewer than December 2019. Trade, transportation and utilities sectors were up by 1,500 jobs over the year and still 500 below 2019, Oil and gas industry jobs stood at 7,100, which was 700 above the same month last year, but over 3,000 lower than in 2019.

Local government employment was up by 600 jobs, but down 2,200 from the previous December, mainly in public education. State government employment fell by 700 positions over last year and was 500 short of 2019. The agency noted that most public schools and university campuses have operated in person so far this school year after a remote 2020-2021. Total state government employment fell over the year with the phase-out of temporary pandemic-related positions.

Federal employment was up by 100 jobs from December 2020 and 400 jobs over December 2019.

The labor department update made no reference to the impact of federal pandemic fund relief dollars on the job market.