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PUBLISHED: 5:59 PM on Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Alaska's unemployment rate rises to 6.9 percent in July
Alaska's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point in July to 6.9 percent, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. June's rate was revised to 6.7 percent from the preliminary rate of 6.8 percent.

Alaska's rate has shown no clear trend over the last four months, but July's rate was up seven-tenths of a percentage point over the year.

The U.S. unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point in July to 5.7 percent and was a full percentage point higher than in July 2007.


  Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development
The Bristol Bay Borough had the state's lowest unemployment rate in July at 1.5 percent and the Wade Hampton Census Area had the highest at 26.8 percent (rates for boroughs and census areas are not seasonally adjusted).

Anchorage's July unemployment rate was 5.3 percent and the Mat-Su Borough's was 7.3 percent. Both rates were up about half a percentage point over the year.

Fairbanks and Juneau saw similar over-the-year increases to 5.5 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.

Alaska added 3,600 payroll jobs from June to July, primarily due to a large seasonal increase in seafood processing employment. Over-the-year growth of 2,900 remains modest, but remarkably consistent.Strong gains in oil and gas have more than compensated for lower job counts in seafood processing, construction, and leisure and hospitality.

While the country as a whole has shed jobs everymonth so far in 2008, Alaska is one of a handful of states that has continued to see employment growth.

The state's 1.3 percent growth rate from December to June, the most recent month for which data from all 50 states are available, trails only Montana and Texas over that period.


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