Alaska’s unemployment rates changed one tenth of a percentage point from February, coming in at 6.6 for March.
State Labor Economist Caroline Schultz talked about the change.
Schultz: “Alaska’s seasonally adjusted rate in March was 6.6 percent, that was up just one tenth of a percentage point from February’s rate. That’s a little change we don’t really think too much of those small one tenth two tenth of a percent changes, they’re not statistically significant we call them.”
She said Alaska has not come this close to the national unemployment rate since November of 2008.
Schultz: “Of course I don’t know any better than anyone else when the national rate is going to drop below Alaska’s rate but it seems very inevitable at this point that it will happen soon.”
She added that those numbers indicate the U.S. economy is still working to recover from the recession rather than any fundamental change for Alaska. The recession pushed U.S. rates close to double the pre-recession level.
Not including adjustments for seasonal workers, the rate was 7.4 percent in March rather than 7.7 percent in February. The Kenai Peninsula fell from 8.9 percent in February to 8.5 percent in March.
Schultz: “The unemployment rate in Juneau is 5.4 percent, just down a little bit from 5.5 percent in February. Juneau is one of our lowest rates state wide.”