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.
- A bullet struck a Juneau school bus with two students aboard it Wednesday, according to a news release from Juneau Police Department.
- The cast and crew of the American Public Media program “A Prairie Home Companion” cruised to Alaska this summer.
- Skagway School went through a restructuring this year. An influx in students enabled the school to create single-grade classrooms in the elementary school, increase Spanish and music classes, and start an accelerated learning program. It also opened space for three new teachers.
- El Nino has transitioned to below normal sea surface temperatures in the mid-latitude Pacific. If that persists, then the condition known as La Nina, typically results in a colder than normal winter for Alaska.