Once a month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics issues the unemployment rate by state. The jobless figures for many are much different from the national average, which was 3.6% in October. In one state, the number was 72% higher.
The unemployment rate in Alaska was 6.2% last month. That contrasts with the state with the lowest unemployment, which at 2.2% was Vermont.
Much of the jobs problem in Alaska last month was due to government worker reductions arising from cuts in the state’s budget. Tourism was hit hard as well. The Alaska Native News said of the state’s October jobs numbers, “Unemployment rates more than doubled from last month in the state’s most tourism-heavy areas, putting Denali at 9.2 percent and Skagway at 6.9 percent.” Denali is next to the mountain of the same name, which used to be Mount McKinley. Its peak is the highest in North America.
One reason the state’s figure is so high is that the jobless rate in its largest city is also well above the national average. October figures have not been released by cities, but in September, the jobless rate in Anchorage was 5.5%, one of the highest in the country.
The unemployment rate in Alaska has not changed much in a year. The October 2018 figure was 6.5%. The total number of people out of work last month was 21,496, compared to 23,069 in the same month the year before. It is also one of the states with the most children living in poverty and the least liked governors in America.
Finally, to put the Alaska figure in perspective, the next state based on unemployment is Mississippi at 5.5%.