Jobless Rate Falls as Winter Fishing Picks Up


Maggie Wall/KMXT

Workers in Kodiak and the Aleutians benefitted from the start of the first quarters’ fisheries which saw many processing and related workers back on the job.

KMXT’s Maggie Wall has more.

-((Kodiak Jobs and Commuters 2:18 "What a difference…at home.SOC"))

What a difference a month makes in Kodiak’s jobless rate. In Kodiak, the January jobless rate nearly half that of December.

January’s unemployment rate was 6-point-4 percent. That compares to the 11-point-4 percent rate in December. Last year January’s jobless rate was 7-point-1 percent.

In terms of people out of work, December saw 695 Kodiak workers seeking jobs, compared to 427 people in January.

While jobless rates increased in most of the state, the Kodiak Island Borough and the Aleutians East Borough gained jobs thanks to the opening ground fish and opilio crab seasons.

Speaking of jobs and going to work, a recent American Community Survey shows that Alaskans, including those in Kodiak, tend to commute to work as one person in one vehicle.

But, unlike those in other parts of the country, Alaskans tend to use more interesting ways to getting to work, including riding bikes, motorcycles, snow machines, four wheelers, dog sleds, planes and boats.

While you’re not likely to see a dog team hauling someone to an office downtown, Kodiak does tend to fall in the middle range between Alaska in general and the country as a whole.

For instance, like our commuter cousins in other parts of the country, 59-point-5 percent of those in Kodiak are the sole occupants of the vehicle they drive to work. Another 23-point-1 percent use a carpool or share a ride. That means 82-point-6 percent of Kodiak workers get to their jobs by car, truck or van.

The state’s labor department says in its report that "we either love our cars and pickups, or feel it’s our only choice for getting to work each day."

But, despite the rain and wind, nearly 8-percent walk to work in Kodiak. That’s roughly double the number in the rest of the country. And, according to the survey, 4-point-3 percent of Kodiak workers work at home.

Not surprisingly, virtually no one in Kodiak takes public transportation to work. Not many in the rest of the country do either-just 5-percent of the nation’s workers use public transit to get to their jobs..

The American Community Survey is a monthly survey of a sample of households. It replaces the "long form" in the U.S. Census.

Most Alaskans Drive to Work Alone: See Page 12-14.

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