WAWA- The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday that the number of jobs in Alaska dropped by 5,500 jobs between February and July, from 5.8 million to 4.8 millions.
That means there are now less than 1.3 million people working in Alaska’s mining, logging, fishing, petroleum and mining industries.
There were 1.8 and 1.5 million jobs in the same months last year, respectively.
This is the second straight month that mining jobs have dropped, with unemployment hovering at 9.6 percent in Alaska and 8.4 percent nationally.
There are currently more than 3.3 workers for every job in the mining sector.
The unemployment rate in Alaska has been hovering at 8.6 for more than two years, but is down to 5.6 now.
The BLS said that the drop in jobs in mining and oil and gas production is due to factors such as the drought and a decline in mining companies’ ability to pay workers.
That has led to a rise in unemployment.
“The unemployment rate for the mining industry was 7.7 percent in the third quarter of 2017, down from 8.3 percent in 2016,” the BLS reported.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported in February that the unemployment rate fell in Alaska to 7.6.
But the number fell further, from 9.4 to 7 percent.
That’s because of people who left the state and other factors.
The jobless rate is calculated by dividing the number who left a state by the total number of unemployed workers.