Alaska unemployment rate holds at 6.4 percent

Despite ever-growing concern about the future of Alaska’s economy, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 6.4 percent in October.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate continued to fall — down to 5 percent compared with 5.7 percent a year ago, according to a state Labor Department release.

Alaska’s adjusted unemployment rate was down from 6.7 percent in October 2014. It should be noted that the state civilian workforce shrank 0.9 percent over the past year, according to a Labor Department estimate.

The statewide unadjusted rate, which doesn’t account for seasonal swings in job availability, increased from 5.7 percent in September to 6.1 percent. The increase is normal for October as seasonal fishing, construction and tourism industries wind down, the Labor Department states.

Unadjusted rates rose in 23 of the 29 boroughs and census areas in Alaska, with Nome and the Northwest Arctic and North Slope boroughs fighting the trend. Employment in the North Slope Borough often peaks in winter along with activity on the region’s oil fields.