Unemployment drops slightly for Chugach, Copper River area

Unemployment for the Chugach and Copper River census areas dropped just slightly in July over the same month in 2022, while statewide the number of those employed rose by 1%, state labor officials noted in a jobs update issued this past week.

For the Chugach Census area, the unseasonal adjusted employment percentage stood at 4.6% in July, down from 3.4% in June, but still higher than 1.6% rate in July of 2022. For the Copper River Census Area, unemployment stood at 4.6% last month, compared with 5.9% in June and 4.8% in July of 2022.

Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development officials said the state added 3,600 jobs in July, over July a year ago.

Leisure and hospitality added 2,100 jobs over the year, thanks to a record-setting number of cruise ship visitors, health care added 600 jobs, while oil and gas and professional and business services added 400 jobs each. 

Manufacturing, primarily in seafood processing in Alaska, was down 1,900 jobs over the year. July is the peak employment month due to salmon harvesting but both harvest and processing volume varies considerably from year to year. Information and financial activities were down 100 jobs each over the year. In most other industries employment grew or remained flat.

Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.8% in July, compared with 3.5% nationally.