Business/Economy

Alaska’s unemployment rate went up again in August

Alaska's unemployment rate went up again last month.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ticked up to 7.2 percent in August from 7 percent in July, the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development said Friday. The rate has been on the rise since March.

Alaska continued to have the highest unemployment rate in the country in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employment last month was down by about 4,800 jobs, or 1.4 percent, compared to the same month last year, according to preliminary estimates from the Labor Department.

[Alaska's median income ticked up last year; income inequality went down]

The oil and gas sector, down 9.4 percent from the previous year, saw the biggest employment losses, followed by construction. Nearly every sector lost jobs. Health care as well as federal and local government showed gains, which were small.

Although Alaska is in a recession, having one of the higher unemployment rates in the country isn't "terribly unusual," state economist Neal Fried told Alaska Dispatch News earlier this year.

The national unemployment rate in August was 4.4 percent.

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