Business/Economy

Alaska jobs up over October 2021, lag pre-pandemic numbers

Alaska had about 6,100 more jobs last month than in October 2021 but most industries had not regained pre-pandemic job levels, a state labor department report shows.

The report, released Friday, shows Alaska had about 316,900 nonfarm jobs in October. That compares to 310,800 in October 2021 and 327,700 in October 2019.

Alaska’s first month of pandemic-related job losses was March 2020, department economist Karinne Wiebold said. Alaska began having year-over-year growth in April 2021, she said.

[Alaska’s economic performance among worst in US for years, research finds]

Most industries posted gains compared to October 2021, the report said. The leisure and hospitality industry had 2,900 more jobs last month than a year earlier. The report said local demand for food and drink and visitor demand for travel and accommodation picked up from last year. The trade, transportation and utilities sector, the other major gainer, had 2,200 more jobs than a year ago but 800 fewer than October 2019.

Leisure and hospitality had 1,700 fewer jobs last month than in October 2019.

“The economy has room to grow, but the easiest job recovery is behind us,” Wiebold said by email Friday.

The oil and gas industry had 7,100 jobs last month, up 300 from a year earlier but 2,700 fewer than in October 2019.

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