Using data sets from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we can get a reasonable view of the Alaska marketplace since the beginning of 2018. Thus, we will explore four factors with respect to the marketplace: the number of employed, the labor force, the number of unemployed, and the unemployment rate. Moreover these four factors will provide us with a labor rating of Alaska.

**Number of Employed**

There are two pieces of information to take away from this data set:

- First, the number of employed decreased by 2,481 workers between January and October.
- Second, this means the percentage of the number of employed decreased by 0.7 percent in that same time frame.

**Labor Force**

There are two pieces of information to take away from this data set:

- First, the labor force (employed and unemployed) decreased by 6,013 between January and October.
- Second, this means the labor force decreased overall by 1.7 percent in that same period.

**Number of Unemployed**

There are two pieces of information to take away from this data set:

- First, the number of unemployed decreased by 3,532 between January and October.
- Second, this means the number of unemployed decreased by 13.4 percent in this same same time frame.

**Unemployment Rate**

There are two pieces of information to take away from this data set:

- First, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.9 points between January and October.
- Second, this means the unemployment rate decreased by 12.3 percent in that same period.

**Summary:**

Although Alaska’s number of employed and its labor force decreased between January and October, which is not in line with national trends, the number of unemployed and subsequently the unemployment rate both decreased in that same period.

Therefore, the decrease in the number of unemployed would explain the decrease in the unemployment rate, since the number of unemployed decreased by 13.4 percent and the number of employed decreased by only 0.7 percent. Thus, these two economic factors – number of unemployed and unemployment rate – are in line with national trends and give Alaska a 2 out of 4 rating, where a 4 out of 4 rating would be increased number of employed, increased labor force, decreased number of unemployed, and decreased unemployment rate.

**Definition:**

The Labor Force in this case is every person, not in the military and 16 years or older, who is either employed or unemployed (and looking for work).

- Labor Force = Number of Employed + Number of Unemployed

Unemployment Rate is the Number of Unemployed divided by the Labor Force.

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Categories: Economics Blog