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Alaska’s retail sector had highest number of job losses in November

  • Author: Annie Zak
  • Updated: December 25, 2018
  • Published December 25, 2018

Alaska’s retail sector saw the highest number of year-over-year job losses in November, according to preliminary monthly jobs numbers from the state.

Overall employment last month was down an estimated 0.4 percent, or 1,300 jobs, compared to November 2017, the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development said in a news release. The retail industry lost 700 jobs. The next highest losses were in professional and business services — which includes architects, engineers and more — and manufacturing, which lost 500 jobs each.

At the start of this year, the state’s labor department predicted Alaska would see another dip in employment in 2018, but that the jobs losses would be smaller than in 2016 and 2017. The state entered into a recession in late 2015.

Most sectors lost jobs last month, but some gained. Health care, which added 500 jobs, continues to be an economic bright spot. Construction added 200 jobs, and the oil and gas sector added 100.

While retail lost the highest number of jobs, Alaska’s manufacturing sector — the bulk of which is seafood processing jobs — lost the greatest percentage, with a 6.3 percent drop. Jobs in the financial activities sector dipped 2.6 percent.

The Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna region lost 1,000 jobs while Alaska’s Interior added 600 in November compared to the same month in 2017, according to the state labor department.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in November was 6.3 percent, down from 7.2 percent from November last year.

In July, the Anchorage Economic Development Corp. predicted that the recession is on track to come to an end soon for Alaska’s largest city.