Statewide job growth increased slightly in May

State labor officials said Alaska’s overall job count edged up by 5,800 or 1.8% in May of this year from that of May 2022. Most Alaskan industries remained flat over the year, with the exception of 500 jobs fewer in manufacturing and 100 jobs fewer in information.

For the Chugach Census Area, including Cordova, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates dropped from 4.7% in April to 3.7% in May, but were still higher than the 2.7% unemployment rate calculated by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development for May of 2022.

Statewide leisure and hospitality jobs grew the most at 2,600 jobs over the year, exceeding pre-COVID-19 pandemic job levels. Professional and business services added 800 jobs, and health care added 600.

Public sector jobs, led by federal government positions, rose by 400, while local government including public schools added 300 jobs, and state government 200 jobs. Still, state and local government positions both remain below pre-pandemic levels.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped overall to 3.6% in May, comparable to the national adjusted unemployment rate. Alaska’s unemployment rate is typically higher than the nation’s rate, but that trend has been less consistent during pandemic recovery, state officials said.