Employment up 0.4 percent in Q3

Alaska’s workforce keeps growing despite ever-present concerns about the impact of low oil prices on the state’s economy.

Average monthly employment in the state increased by 0.4 percent in the third quarter of 2015, according to the state Labor Department. Overall employment averaged 354,204 jobs for the quarter, up 1,551 jobs compared to 2014.

Wages also grew, with employers paying out $4.6 billion late last summer, which was up 2.4 percent year-over-year after an inflation adjustment, the department states.

Employment in the state typically peaks in the third quarter when the tourism, fishing and non-oilfield related construction industries are in full swing.

Private sector employers outpaced the overall numbers, adding more than 1,900 jobs in the third quarter. Public sector employment fell by about 400 positions and those losses were driven by state government shedding 850 jobs from 2014, or about 3 percent, according to the Labor Department.

The number of available federal government positions added 262 jobs for its first quarter of growth since

The state’s closely tied oil and gas and construction industries collectively contracted by nearly 800 jobs in the third quarter, but those losses were offset by more than 2,500 new jobs in the retail, hospitality and private health care industries, the department states.

02/25/2016 - 2:40pm