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KODIAK — Kodiak’s unemployment has dropped since a year ago and, while it remains far above the national rate, is lower than the rest of Alaska. 

According to federal labor statistics published this month, Kodiak’s unemployment rate was 5.1% in April, down from 5.8% in April 2018. 

Alaska’s unemployment rate remained steady at 6.5%, a rate it has held since August. The rate is down slightly from the 6.7% that was reported in April 2018.

According to Neil Fried, an economic analyst with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the state’s economy is “not terribly robust, whereas the Lower 48’s economy is very robust.” 

As a result of this, he said, fewer people are coming up to Alaska to seek work.

“The labor market is pretty tight,” Fried said. “People haven’t had to move — and aren’t moving — to Alaska. We’ve had negative migration now for six straight years.”

According to Fried, the country is currently seeing its lowest unemployment rates in 50 years and the current period of employment growth is “getting close to a record.”

“The national job market is glowing red. It’s red hot. It’s almost unprecedented,” Fried said. 

According to ADLWD, employment in Alaska is up an estimated 0.9 percent from April 2018, with construction adding the largest number of jobs at 1,800. Health care and oil and gas each added 500 jobs over the period while manufacturing had the biggest decline. The department says manufacturing in Alaska is mostly seafood processing.

The state labor department states there were 200 fewer federal jobs last month compared to April 2018, while local government grew by 200 jobs and state government by 100 jobs.

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