Anchorage employment remains steady

Anchorage unemployment in May was 4.9 percent, according to the latest employment report released by the Anchorage Economic Development Corp. and sponsored by First National Bank Alaska. This reading is unchanged from April’s revised rate and remains well below the national rate of 6.3 percent and the statewide rate of 6.4 percent. 

“Last month’s unemployment rate is the lowest May rate we’ve seen since 2007,” said Bill Popp, AEDC president and CEO. “We anticipate a rate of 5 percent or below for much of the second half of the year. When coupled with impressive growth in retail jobs and steady growth in the goods-producing and services-producing industries, Anchorage is looking at a very healthy economy in the months to come.”

The average monthly employment from January to May increased by 600 jobs compared to the same months in 2013. Anchorage’s private sector has seen an increase of 1,180 jobs while government employment has declined by 580 government jobs, with losses split between federal employment and local education.

In May, the mining and logging industry, which includes oil and gas employment, continued to show the highest growth in the goods-producing category with an increase of 140 new jobs compared to the 2013 year-to-date monthly average. Retail trade jobs in Anchorage were also up, with an increase of 520 more positions in this time frame. This is the first time since 2003 that yearly growth in this sector has exceeded 100 jobs. Retail growth is expected to continue as even more new stores open their doors in Anchorage this summer.

Download the full report (PDF file) sponsored by First National Bank Alaska here: 2014 May AEDC employment report