2012 Alaska unemployment levels revised

Becky Bohrer, Associated Press
Associated Press

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- State unemployment levels for 2012 have been revised, in some cases significantly.

For example, August's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, initially reported at 7.8 percent and what would have been the highest level since January 2011, was changed to 7 percent. After revisions, the highest level of unemployment for 2012 in Alaska came in January, when it stood at 7.2 percent. It fell to 6.6 percent by December.

Dan Robinson, chief of research and analysis for the state labor department, said the department did not believe there was something going on related to Alaska's economy when unemployment levels went up last summer. He said he and others felt there was an issue with the data instead.

Revisions are done at the federal level, and aren't uncommon; a rate reported as preliminary one month can be revised up or down the following month. Robinson said that's why it's hard to read much into monthly numbers. August's initially reported rate of 7.8 percent was revised to 7.7 percent by the time the September unemployment rate was announced.

Robinson said he's fairly sure the new rates are more accurate because more information has come in.

The revised rates for 2012 in Alaska, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics: January, 7.2 percent; February, 7.1 percent; March and April, 7 percent; May, June, July, 7.1 percent; August, 7 percent; September, 6.9 percent; October, 6.8 percent; November, 6.7 percent; and December, 6.6 percent.