Jobless Rate Spikes Before Expected Summer Dip

Maggie Wall/KMXT

While we’re used to thinking of the unemployment rate going down in the spring, Kodiak’s jobless rate for April shows we aren’t there yet. The April jobless rate increased slightly to 6.7 percent, the highest local rate so far this year. January was 6.6, February was 6.5 and the March jobless rate was 6.4 percent.

Officially, rates have held steady in the range of 6 percent. Labor officials expect the rates to fall as we go into Alaska’s-and Kodiak’s-busiest employment season.

In terms of actual people, April saw 6,126 workers and 443 looking for work inside the Kodiak Island Borough.

It’s important to note that jobless figures are based on the percentage of people looking for a job that are unemployed. They do not account for people who have either given up looking, or who live in remote areas where there are no jobs to begin with.

Compared to the rest of the country, Alaska’s been sitting pretty in terms of jobs. As of March, Alaska’s jobless rate has been lower than the national rate for 28 months in a row.

If you are interested in jobs, jobless rates and the rates paid to workers, you may want to visit the newly redesigned Alaska Department of Labor website. More information about jobs in the state is now available on-line and it’s easier to get to

For instance, there is a database of wages paid in Alaska by job title and by location. That could prove to be a valuable tool if you are negotiating wages or thinking about relocated to a new area of the state.

Take, for instance, website designers. Nationally they average $36.81 per hour, while here in Alaska the average is $31.96. A website designer in Anchorage makes in the range of $30.96, while one in Southeast Alaska makes $28.38.

Here’s a link for the labor department’s website.


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