Alaska’s unemployment rate has been lower than the nation’s for exactly three years.
For decades the state’s rate was at least one to two percentage points higher than the rest of the U.S. But that began to change in October of 2008. Now in the third year, Labor Economist Neal Fried said Alaska’s unemployment rate fell below the nation’s unemployment rate and it stayed there for three straight years.
“It’s not an Alaskan story,” said Fried. “It’s more of a national story about how tough that job market and how high that unemployment rate is and it stayed.”
In October of 2011, 7.4 percent of Alaskans were without jobs, compared to 9.0 percent nationwide. The state’s October 2010 rate was 7.9 percent, while the U.S. rate was 9.7 percent.
Unemployment in Juneau was 5 percent, up slightly from September and due to the loss of seasonal jobs.
- Mayor Ken Koelsch, Debbie White and Mary Becker opposed it. Deputy Mayor Jerry Nankervis was on a scratchy phone connection and did not respond to the roll call to vote.
- The proposal for a 130-unit high-rise apartment building to be built over a downtown city parking lot has alarmed some community members. But city officials say there is no final plan and closure of the deal is still months away.
- “Things have to have an endpoint to it, or they have to have something that keeps directing you, telling you that you’re in the right area,” said troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters.
- The Department of the Interior announced today that 29 local Alaska governments would receive $29.7 million in Payment in Lieu of Taxes funds, or PILT.