Thirty-nine months is a long time for a state to have a job losing streak.
Alaska is creeping up on the Big 4-0 loss streak, and already has set a new record for the longest string of job losses since the economy nosedived in the late 1980s.
The cumulative number of jobs that vanished during the present recession is 12,700, putting the job count back to 2011 levels, according to the Alaska Department of Labor. Alaska has been losing jobs since October, 2015.
As go jobs trends, so go the workers. Since 2013, more people have left Alaska than have moved here. While births made up for some of the outmigration, the cumulative net migration loss was 35,000, larger than the city of Juneau.
Anchorage shed 6,084 jobs between 2015 and 2018, a drop of 3.9 percent. The majority of those jobs were professional class jobs, including attorneys, engineers, and architects.
The Matanuska-Susitna Borough bucked the employment trend, and actually grew jobs between 2015 and 2018, adding 769 workers, according to the State Department of Labor. But those jobs were largely in health care and social services, not in the private for-profit sector. The Mat-Su Borough added 10,000 residents from 2015 to 2018.
Alaska’s overall unemployment rate in December was steady at 6.3 percent, or about 22,390 Alaskans unemployed, while the overall unemployment rate in the United States was 3.9 percent.