Boroughs with the highest unemployment in Alaska

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July 8, 2024
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Boroughs with the highest unemployment in Alaska

Despite a relatively low unemployment rate, the fear of job losses remains amid ongoing economic uncertainty.

Stacker compiled a list of boroughs with the highest unemployment rates in Alaska using Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Boroughs are ranked by their preliminary unemployment rate in May 2024, with initial ties broken by the number of unemployed people within that borough, though some ties may remain. Borough-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Economists forecast a waning risk of recession and predict that the U.S. may instead be headed for an incremental slowdown in growth known as a "soft landing." Still, layoffs among major U.S. employers like Amazon to Tesla have sparked concern among Americans. What's more, unemployment has spiked in nearly half the country's states, which often indicates a looming recession, a chief global economist at Piper Sandler told Business Insider. And with sky-high prices after a period of record inflation, savings and unemployment payments may not cover basic expenses for jobless Americans for long.

For comparison, the Great Recession of 2007-09 sent unemployment rates up to 10% as of October 2009, and a full recovery took years. At the height of the COVID-19 recession in April 2020, unemployment hit 14.7%.

Still, as of June 2024, the national unemployment rate remains relatively low at 4.1%, with little change from the previous month. Regional and state employment range widely depending on local economies. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates by state vary, ranging from just 2% in the Dakotas to 5.3% in Washington D.C.

Read on to see the boroughs with the highest unemployment in Alaska.

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#30. Sitka Borough/city

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 2.9%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 4,527 people (133 unemployed)

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#29. Juneau Borough/city

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.0%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 17,746 people (532 unemployed)

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#28. Skagway Municipality

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.1%
--- 1-month change: Down 5.8 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 872 people (27 unemployed)

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#27. Ketchikan Gateway Borough

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.4%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 7,052 people (237 unemployed)

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#26. Anchorage Borough/municipality

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.6%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 151,732 people (5,490 unemployed)

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Joseph Sohm // Shutterstock

#25. Denali Borough

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Down 4.9 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 1,281 people (47 unemployed)

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#24. Hoonah-Angoon Census Area

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Down 1.8 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 1,441 people (54 unemployed)

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EQRoy // Shutterstock

#23. Fairbanks North Star Borough

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.8%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 45,433 people (1,728 unemployed)

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CSNafzger // Shutterstock

#22. Bristol Bay Borough

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.3%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: No change
- Total labor force: 371 people (16 unemployed)

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#21. Petersburg Borough

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.4%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 1,358 people (60 unemployed)

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#20. Kodiak Island Borough

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 5,625 people (246 unemployed)

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#19. Wrangell Borough/city

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.5%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.9 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 895 people (40 unemployed)

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#18. Kenai Peninsula Borough

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.5%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 28,521 people (1,276 unemployed)

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#17. Matanuska-Susitna Borough

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.6%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: No change
- Total labor force: 49,740 people (2,285 unemployed)

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#16. Chugach Census Area

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.7%
--- 1-month change: Down 2.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.9 percentage points
- Total labor force: 3,354 people (157 unemployed)

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#15. Aleutians East Borough

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.1%
--- 1-month change: Up 2.6 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 1.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 1,405 people (71 unemployed)

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#14. Southeast Fairbanks Census Area

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.2%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 3,384 people (177 unemployed)

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#13. North Slope Borough

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.5%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 3,047 people (167 unemployed)

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#12. Haines Borough

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.7%
--- 1-month change: Down 2.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 1,150 people (66 unemployed)

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#11. Yakutat Borough/city

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.0%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 1.0 percentage points
- Total labor force: 332 people (20 unemployed)

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#10. Aleutians West Census Area

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.2%
--- 1-month change: Up 3.0 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 2,562 people (160 unemployed)

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#9. Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.6%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 2,642 people (174 unemployed)

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#8. Copper River Census Area

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.8%
--- 1-month change: Down 1.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 1,324 people (90 unemployed)

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#7. Dillingham Census Area

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 7.1%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 1.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 1,709 people (121 unemployed)

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#6. Lake and Peninsula Borough

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 7.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 2.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 634 people (49 unemployed)

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#5. Nome Census Area

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 7.9%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 4,142 people (327 unemployed)

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#4. Northwest Arctic Borough

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 9.0%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.7 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 2,944 people (266 unemployed)

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#3. Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 9.5%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 2,400 people (229 unemployed)

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#2. Bethel Census Area

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 10.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 6,375 people (663 unemployed)

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#1. Kusilvak Census Area

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 15.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 2,280 people (343 unemployed)

This story features data reporting by Paxtyn Merten and is part of a series utilizing data automation across 50 states.

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