According to the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development, unemployment rates on the Kenai Peninsula are close to 1.5 percent below the national average, but still a few points above the state average.
In the Department’s October report on employment trends, the Peninsula recorded a 6.8 percent revised unemployment rate. That compares to 6.2 for Alaska and 8.2 for the United States as a whole.
Growth in the oil and gas industry in the Cook Inlet has contributed to an impressive 15 percent drop in the Peninsula’s unemployment rate, compared to this time last year.
Overall, unemployment is well down from the 2008 peak, and the state is back to its pre-recession low in 2006. Alaska in general didn’t suffer as dramatically as other states in 2008, and unemployment has remained within the 6-8 percent range since 2003. On the other hand, the national average has fluctuated from almost 4 percent to a high closer to 10 percent.
The Department is still waiting to see how the federal government shut down will impact unemployment rates. Federal employment is the state has been in decline (excluding active military personnel) since 2011, when there were around 17,000 government workers in the state. this year, preliminary figures show closer to 15,000.