Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Friday, January 19 2018 @ 11:57 AM AKST


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Unemployment rate at 6.5 percent in December

EconomyAlaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.5 percent in December, essentially unchanged from November’s 6.4 percent. The comparable national rate was 5.0 percent.

Alaska’s seasonally adjusted rate showed no clear trend in 2015, consistent with other economic indicators that suggest last year’s economy was relatively flat.

The not-seasonally adjusted rate was 6.6 percent in December, up from November’s 6.4 percent. December was the first month in 2015 that the unadjusted rate was higher than the same month in the previous year.

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Unemployment rate remains at 6.4 percent in November

EconomyJUNEAU, Alaska—Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in November, unchanged from September and October. The comparable national rate was 5.0 percent, also the same as October.

Alaska’s jobless rate has been relatively steady through most of 2015. The unemployment rate is just one of several indicators of the economy’s health, but the flat trend suggests sustained low oil prices have not yet taken a significant toll.

The not-seasonally adjusted rate rose from 6.1 percent in October to 6.4 percent in November, a typical seasonal increase. Rates rose in all but three boroughs and census areas.
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State, Japan Renew LNG Export Agreement

EconomyANCHORAGE—Governor Bill Walker announced today the State of Alaska extended its cooperation agreement with Japan-based consortium Resources Energy, Inc. (REI), to develop Cook Inlet natural gas. This agreement extension comes three months after Governor Walker met with more than 25 companies and government agencies, including the prefectures of Kyoto and Hyogo, during an international liquefied natural gas conference in Tokyo, where he told more than a thousand attendees of the Alaskan LNG opportunity.

The agreement with REI, which was extended two more years to December 14, 2017, encourages the development of Cook Inlet natural gas to provide Alaskans low-cost energy while also supplying Japanese consumers.

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Alaska employment grew 0.8 percent in the first half of 2015

EconomyEmployment in Alaska increased by 2,591 jobs, or 0.8 percent, in the first half of 2015 compared to the first half of 2014. Average monthly employment from January through June was 335,330.

Employers paid $9.0 billion in wages during the first six months of 2015, a 2.1 percent increase from the same period in the previous year, when adjusted for inflation.

Job growth was driven by the private sector, which added 2,663 jobs while public sector employment fell by 72. Government losses slowed in the first half of 2015 compared to previous years, largely because the five-year trend of significant federal job losses subsided.

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Unemployment rate stays at 6.4 percent in October

EconomyAlaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 6.4 percent in October, unchanged from the month before. The comparable national rate was 5.0 percent.

The unadjusted rate increased four-tenths of a percentage point for the state, from 5.7 percent in September to 6.1 percent in October. This increase reflects the normal taper of Alaska’s economy as seasonal industries wind down for winter.

Around the state, unadjusted rates rose from September to October in 23 out of 29 boroughs and census areas, consistent with the statewide trend.

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Unemployment rate at 6.4 percent in September

EconomyJUNEAU, Alaska— Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in September, down slightly from August’s 6.6 percent. The comparable national rate was 5.1 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has not shown a clear, sustained trend up or down in 2015. Despite looming economic challenges, the rate does not indicate that the broader economy had been noticeably affected through September.

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State Welcomes Economic Developers to Alaska

EconomyNearly 1,000 economic development professionals from around the world will convene in Anchorage for the International Economic Development Council’s annual conference from October 4 – 7, 2015. Topics will include the role of public finance in infrastructure development and the expansion of a robust private sector.

“Despite our current budget challenges, Alaska’s business climate is the ranked fourth in the country, and we are seventh in the nation for per-capita entrepreneurial activity,” said Governor Bill Walker. “This conference is a chance for us to showcase the innovative projects, partnerships, and policies that make Alaska a great place to invest. The conference will also provide Alaskans with an opportunity to learn about current global trends in economic development.”

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Alaska Wins $2.5 Million Grant to Expand Employment for Youth with Disabilities

EconomyANCHORAGE: Alaska is one of just six states to win a competitive U.S. Department of Labor grant to help youth with disabilities find jobs and achieve financial independence. The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development and applied for the grant in partnership with support from the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Health and Social Services, Department of Education and Early Development, and the Anchorage School District.

“This grant means that hundreds more Alaskans with disabilities will be able to find jobs and support themselves and their families,” said Commissioner Heidi Drygas.

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Gov. Emphasizes Importance of PFD Longevity, 2015 PFD is $2,072

EconomySeptember 21, 2015 ANCHORAGE – Governor Bill Walker and Lt. Governor Byron Mallott today underscored the importance of a stable fiscal future for future generations of Alaskans, as they broke from tradition in announcing the amount of individual Alaskans’ permanent fund dividend check. Shania Sommer, a seventh-grader from Palmer Junior Middle School, announced the exact amount of the check. Shania is a 12-year-old student enrolled in the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program.

“A month ago, I asked Shania to participate in this historic announcement because I want to send a message,” Governor Bill Walker said. “This is the largest permanent fund dividend payout in Alaska history. We are paying out more in PFD checks than we are for the education of young Alaskans like Shania—at a time when we are struggling with a $3.5 billion deficit. Alaskans need to know this is unsustainable. I’m confident Alaskans will pull together to find a solution, as we always do when times are tough.”

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Unemployment rate at 6.6 percent in August

EconomyAlaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in August, essentially unchanged from July’s 6.7 percent. August’s adjusted rate was just below Alaska’s three-year average of 6.8 percent.

The seasonally adjusted U.S. rate was 5.1 percent in August, continuing its steady decline toward pre-recession levels'

Alaska’s unadjusted unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in August, down from July’s 5.9 percent. August is typically the lowest month for the unadjusted rate, reflecting peak economic activity in most of the state.

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Governor Touts Alaska’s LNG Potential

EconomySeptember 15, 2015 TOKYO—Governor Bill Walker and his team wrapped up his second day of high-level meetings discussing Alaska’s liquefied natural gas potential with top-ranking executives in Japan, including the chief executive of Marubeni Corporation, a leading liquefied natural gas trading company, the governor of Kyoto Prefecture and former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.

“Alaska can point to 40 years of proven deliverability of our rich natural gas supply to the Asian market,” Governor Walker said. “We have the capacity to provide decades more to millions of customers to our Pacific neighbors.”

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Borough to sell Ferry Susitna to Philippine Red Cross

EconomyThe Susitna Ferry will be plying the Philippine Sea delivering food and supplies to island shores and serving as a floating hospital after hurricanes if a near-final sale is completed between the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and the Philippine Red Cross. The Assembly gave Mat-Su Borough Manager John Moosey the approval to finalize the deal late Sept. 1.

For $1.75 million, the international humanitarian organization seeks to buy the Susitna Ferry, a ship that is capable of operating as both a cargo-loaded barge that can haul itself onto shore and a twin-hulled vessel that cuts through choppy seas. The Susitna was built as a smaller scale prototype for the U.S. Navy, which funded most of the construction costs for the $80 million vessel.

Mat-Su Borough Assembly Member Jim Sykes went aboard recently at Ward Cove, outside Ketchikan, and described the Susitna last night as "an incredible vessel."
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Unemployment rate at 6.7 percent in July

EconomyAlaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in July, essentially unchanged from June’s 6.8 percent. The comparable national rate was 5.3 percent.

Alaska’s seasonally adjusted rate has remained level through the past four months. The adjusted rate smooths out the swings from summer to winter employment, which makes it easier to detect underlying economic trends.

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Alaskans Cautioned About Foreign Currency Investment Schemes

EconomyThe Alaska Division of Banking and Securities cautions Alaskans about scams involving the sale of non-traditional currencies such as the Iraqi dinar, Vietnamese dong, Indonesian rupiah, and Afghan afghani. Non-traditional currencies are those not offered on traditional exchange platforms such as the foreign exchange market (FOREX).

"Purchases and sales of foreign currency are highly risky and speculative investments. Non-traditional foreign currencies are considered to be extremely risky and require even greater levels of vigilance,” said Kevin Anselm, director of the Division of Banking and Securities. Director Anselm recommends Alaskans exercise caution when contemplating any investment, particularly exotic-sounding, high-yield opportunities.

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Unemployment rate at 6.8 percent in June

EconomyAlaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in June. May’s rate was revised down one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.7 percent. Since 2013, Alaska’s rate has remained fairly stable and close to its 10-year average.

The national unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in June, down slightly from 5.5 percent in May.

Alaska’s not-seasonally adjusted rate rose from 6.6 percent in May to 6.9 percent in June, which is typical after the school year ends. June’s unadjusted rate was one-tenth of a percentage point lower than June of last year.
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