JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska had 22,300 fewer jobs last month than it did in February 2020, the state labor department reported Friday, citing an ongoing economic toll from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The biggest losses were in the leisure and hospitality sector, which had 7,300 fewer jobs last month than in February 2020, a department jobs report showed. Oil and gas had 3,900 fewer jobs, and the transportation, warehousing and utilities sector had 1,800 fewer jobs.
The report showed 2,000 fewer local government jobs last month compared to February 2020, with losses primarily tied to K-12 education. There were 200 more jobs in state government compared to February 2020, which the report says is largely due to pandemic-related hires for work such as contract tracing and processing unemployment insurance claims.
The department says job losses remain “historically large,” with unemployment claims during the second week of last month nearly four times higher than the same week a year earlier.