The latest unemployment numbers show that Southwest Alaska continues to lead the state in regional unemployment. The March unemployment rate in the Southwest region was 13.8-percent. That’s essentially unchanged from the 13.9-percent rate recorded in February.
The highest unemployment rate in the state is the 25.8-percent in the Wade Hampton Census Area. That’s up slightly from the 25.5-percent rate recorded in February. The next highest unemployment rate in the Southwest region was the 16.9-percent in the Bethel Census Area. That’s down compared to the 17.2-percent rate recorded in February. The unemployment rate in the Dillingham Census Area moved up slightly last month to 10.6-percent. The unemployment rate in the Lake and Peninsula Borough was 11.3-percent and the rate in the Bristol Bay Borough was recorded at 9.4-percent. The March unemployment rate for the Aleutians East Borough was 8.1-percent. The lowest unemployment rate in the Southwest region was the 4.8-percent recorded in the Aleutians West Census Area. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development reports that just over 2.7-thousand people in Southwest Alaska are officially classified as unemployed out of a total labor force of over 19.5-thousand.
A look around the state shows a wide variation in unemployment rates. For instance the rate in Anchorage is 5.5-percent and it’s 5.2-percent in the Kodiak Island Borough. On the other end of the spectrum is the 17.5-percent recorded in the Northwest Arctic Borough and the 12.5-percent unemployment rate recorded in the Nome Census Area. The statewide unemployment rate last month was 7.4-percent but when that rate is seasonally adjusted it drops down to 6.6-percent. That translates to just over 27-thousand unemployed people out of a total labor force of over 363.8-thousand. The national unemployment rate was 6.7-percent in March. You can take a look at the March unemployment data on the website of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.