Search site Advanced Search. myAlaska Login Username: Forgot my Username: Forgot my Password: New User: Register for a myAlaska Account Alaska Unemployment. The unemployment rate peaked at around 10% following the 2008–09 financial crisis. (James Brooks / ADN), The offices of the Alaska Department of Labor are seen Thursday, April 9, 2020 in Juneau. The U.S. Department of Labor has required that Alaska not mingle the federal emergency money with funds from the state’s $323 million unemployment trust fund. Professions in state government help support many aspects of life in the Last Frontier including healthcare, protection of citizens, and preserving natural resources, just to name a few. He said he’s buying and repairing old washers, dryers and other appliances he finds on Craigslist to make enough to pay for food and gas for his vehicle. Meier said only South Dakota did not apply for the unique relief program. Alaskans applying for unemployment say they’re feeling frustrated by clogged phone lines, uncertain regulations and a confusing application process. In 2019, the unemployment rate in Alaska was 6.1 percent. Beau Sylte of Sitka said that can’t come soon enough. What we do makes a difference to the people of Alaska. How We Determined The Cities In Alaska With The Lowest Unemployment Rates Before we could dive into what Alaska’s most employed cities were, we needed to know where to look in the first place. That remains the advice today. It is going to take them one, to three to four weeks on the outside to get this running. Home>Get Legal Info>Coronavirus (COVID-19) Back to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Unemployment (COVID-19) Legal Information (1) Legal Help Directory; Filter By: Language. We invite you to write a letter to the editor or reach out directly if you’d like to communicate with us about a particular article. Three weeks ago, department officials said Alaskans could leave call-back numbers if they didn’t want to wait on hold, but the number of calls has grown so large that even that system has been overwhelmed. This is down from a high of 8.9 percent in 1992. (James Brooks / ADN). [Earlier coverage: Tens of thousands of Alaskans await $300 weekly unemployment boost as state blames tech glitches]. New coding is required. People who are out of work should reach out to the department’s reemployment services, Ledbetter said. Skagway Municipality, AK unemployment rate . “Income verification, USDOL reporting agreements, staff training, and a new requirement to deduct federal withholding tax are currently in the works. “In the age of instant everything, they take months and months,” he said. The Legislature has increased the payments only on rare occasions over the past two decades, she said. Heidi Drygas, an attorney who led the state labor department under former Gov. Money Problems: Housing: Seniors: Life Planning: Health Care & Public Benefits: Native American Issues: Victims' Rights : Using Tribal Court: Find Legal Help; Classrooms; Search. A separate phone line, 1-866-377-0126, has been set up to help people who have technical problems with the online application system, rather than their particular application. Approval for a six-week program in Alaska came in early September, Ledbetter said in the statement. Relief and retroactive payments are coming, they say, but many Alaskans worry whether it will come in time for them to pay bills. “It was a really frustrating call,” he said. In April, after governments shut down the economy, the unemployment rate reached 14.7%, the highest since the Great Depression. There also are separate numbers for claim centers in Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks. The state labor department on Friday continued to describe the delayed payments as a problem involving information technology associated with the department’s existing computer systems and the requirement for a new payment system from the U.S. Department of Labor. The state is in the “final stages” of testing the payments, the statement said. “An additional 75 staff will be hired this week,” Ledbetter wrote by email. The next day, he was told he didn’t have a job at all. The state labor department said it works with multiple entities to provide employment and training information at 14 Alaska job centers statewide, and job seekers can call 877-724-2539 for more information. That many in rural Alaska still rely on the subsistence economy for many of their needs is one of the most important reasons. He previously reported and edited for the Juneau Empire, Kodiak Daily Mirror and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Apply for State Jobs. Rachael Byrd, who was general manager of Juneau’s Salt restaurant, said she applied March 22 but ran into an issue. Byrd, seen in her apartment Thursday, April 9, 2020, said she has been unable to reach unemployment officials by phone and is frustrated by changing rules and regulations. “They’re so, so flooded with people.”. “When I was commissioner during the Great Recession in 2008, we had one room on the second floor dedicated just for a classroom, training new claims takers,” he said. Learn about … Once you find yourself in financial trouble getting yourself out of it is no easy task at all. Amanda Filori, a Juneau artist, offered a handful of tips that she said worked for her: Call early (call centers open at 9 a.m.), wait on hold, be polite and read the unemployment pamphlet before calling. … Unemployment Insurance Benefits has sent you here to sign in. This problem of how we count people’s activities in Alaska is incremental to the problems with the unemployment rate as a statistic everywhere. In the past three weeks, 36,211 people have filed for unemployment insurance benefits, or more than 10% of all workers in the state of Alaska at this point in the year. That will … The state continues to cite technology issues as the reason for the delay. Meanwhile, the state agency in charge of unemployment has been scrambling to hire workers, upgrade equipment and implement a swath of rule changes ordered by elected state and federal officials. U.S. unemployment dropped to 3.9 percent last month, well within the range considered to be full employment by federal agencies that monitor such data. The state of Alaska is ranked 2nd in Unemployment Offices per capita, and 41st in Unemployment Offices per square mile. Michael Patterson, 30, said he helped organized a caravan protest with the Party for Socialism and Liberation in Anchorage on Friday afternoon to highlight the need for the payments to get out. Alaska law provides severe penalties for attempting to collect benefits fraudulently. Gov. He managed to get through by phone but said that as a self-employed freelancer, the system wasn’t ready for him. She said she had the best luck calling the statewide toll-free number. “It’s outdated, it’s outmoded, and in the manner that the feds want us to distribute the money, right now it’s not working with the system. The state cannot pay people the extra money by using money from the unemployment insurance trust fund. According to the BLS current population survey (CPS), the unemployment rate for Alaska rose 2.2 percentage points in November 2020 to 8.1%.The state unemployment rate was 1.4 percentage points higher than the national rate for the month. Click to enter AlaskaJobs The AlaskaJobs system has replaced ALEXsys. As an Alaska employer, your small business must establish an Alaska UI tax account with the Alaska Department of Labor (AKDOL). But the Alaska job market is still in the doldrums, with unemployment the highest in the nation at 7.3 percent, even while nearly 9,000 people left in the last year. With 40,000 Alaskans on unemployment and 90,000 having received assistance this year, we are in unprecedented territory. You must actively seek employment, while keeping a record of your work search activities. Moody, whose wife is collecting disability, joined more than 30,000 Alaskans who have filed for unemployment in the past three weeks. “The best thing people can do with unemployment claims right now is file online,” said Rep. Ivy Spohnholz, D-Anchorage and chair of the Alaska House’s committee on labor and commerce. Close to 40,000 Alaskans have received weekly unemployment benefits in October, about 12% of the workforce, according to the state labor department. Alaska Job Center Network. “Our hardware, software system to be able to distribute those checks, we’re having a problem with it,” he said. Hans Moody had worked for RavnAir, loading and unloading aircraft in Kodiak for 23 years. For example, if two stay-at-home parents tended to each other’s children and were paid equal wages, they would both be considered employed. The Alaska unemployment rate has been fluctuating over the last decade. To apply online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, go to my.alaska.gov and click on “Unemployment Insurance Benefits”. In 2000, the Alaska unemployment rate was around 6.2%. “We have no failsafe, no backup plan,” he said. Reports of Fraud or suspicion can be reported by email at uifraud@alaska.gov; fax at (907) 269-4835; or phone at (907) 269-4880 or toll free at (877) 272-4635. That includes normal technicians, people the department has reassigned, and six former employees who came out of retirement to help. The statement from Alaska’s labor department provided some explanations for the challenges on Friday: • The Lost Wages program is not part of the Unemployment Insurance program. An entirely new system must be built with separate accounting and financial reporting requirements. “CARES program coverage for the self employed will be operational in the next 3 to 4 weeks,” Ledbetter wrote by email. Three weeks ago, anticipating the surge to come, state officials urged Alaskans to file for unemployment online. You must continue to file bi-weekly (every 2 weeks). So we’re looking at putting some patches in pretty quick.”. When additional information is available we will update this message. When he tried to update his application, the online process prompted him to call. Also, Alaska often refers to Employment Security Tax (EST) rather than unemployment insurance tax. Alaska unemployment claims skyrocket after coronavirus shuts down restaurants. Rachael Byrd of Juneau is one of more than 30,000 Alaskans who have applied for unemployment in the past few weeks. Published April 9, 2020 Rachael Byrd of Juneau is one of more than 30,000 Alaskans who have applied for unemployment in the past few weeks. In Kodiak, Moody even tried the department’s fax number, without response so far. © 2021 Anchorage Daily News. “All applicants who previously received notification that their application was incomplete due to the actively seeking work requirement will be notified this week that their applications are approved,” she said. All rights reserved. Lex Treinen, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage - March 19, 2020. Also, you must continue to be able and available for full-time work. If you are unable to file online, you can file by phone using the automated filing system … “If I don’t get my unemployment, I don’t know what we’re going to do,” Moody said. Many more Alaskans are believed to be out of work but have not filed for one reason or another. She got her first deposit Wednesday. Report UI fraud. “One person said, ‘I hope the depression doesn’t get the best of me,’” Tarr said. 3. There are multiple reasons that many Alaska Natives have not gained meaningful entry into the cash economy. The current unemployment rate for Alaska is 6.4% for August 2020. The boost would come on top of the regular weekly unemployment payment, which averaged about $250 before the pandemic began. • The current unemployment system is designed for funds to be disbursed only through that system. ’Patience, ’ she said, was key. (James Brooks / ADN). Drygas, the former labor commissioner, said the pandemic has highlighted how the state’s unemployment benefits are “painfully low,” inadequate for rent and other high costs in Alaska, she said. We settled upon any place with over 2,000 people and data available for our criteria. • The previous $600 weekly federal benefit that ended in late July was disbursed through the traditional unemployment insurance system. Alaska will continue to update our information concerning the CARES Act as it becomes available. In 2010, it took four to six weeks to train additional staff needed to process claims. “Many are surprised to learn of the full range of employment and training services available,” she said. Drygas, the former labor commissioner, said the pandemic has highlighted how the state’s unemployment benefits are “painfully low,” inadequate for rent and other high costs in Alaska, she said. JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — … Alaska is assessing President Trump’s Executive Order issued August 8th which potentially extends additional Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. “These issues will all be fought out in state legislatures,” he said. 36,211 people have filed for unemployment insurance benefits, Biden blocks drilling in ANWR, among his first acts as president, Bernie and his mittens travel Alaska, in meme form, Alaska development bank forecloses on oil field assets after $70 million investment, Alaska Gov. Spohnholz said she was told the agency is also upgrading its phone and computer systems. A U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq, Patterson said his family, including three children, are scraping by on his veteran benefits and the small unemployment check his fiancee currently receives. [More than 36,000 Alaskans file jobless claims in 3 weeks as coronavirus stifles the economy]. Register With the Department of Labor. We then looked at the unemployment rates to determine the … She also said that anyone whose application is delayed will receive retroactive payments effective as of the date they lost their job or had their hours reduced, back to March 1. AK Highest Unemployment by County. ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - With less than a week remaining before Alaska’s state lawmakers gavel in for the start of the 32nd Legislature, small business owners in Alaska are making it known they there is a list of priorities that they want to see addressed before the end of session.. Thor Stacey, the director of Alaska’s chapter of the National Federation of … Employment with the State of Alaska is more than just a job. By. Symaron George of Haines said her online application, filed March 30, went through “without a problem,” but she was disappointed that her payment did not include a promised federal stimulus or an extra payment approved by legislators. Apply to Processor, Receptionist, Talent Bank Employee - Positions Available Are: Full Time -- Part Time -- On Call and more! That extra payment was authorized for Alaskans who care for children or dependent adults. The complaints aren’t universal. Bob Allain, a heating systems installer from Palmer who has been laid off for seven months, said his $1,800 will be spent as soon as it arrives to catch up on recent months of unpaid heating, electric and other bills. On Sunday, he learned along with the rest of the state that Alaska’s largest rural airline had declared bankruptcy. You can file a claim online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. State Rep. Geran Tarr, D-Anchorage, said some Alaskans have contacted her, asking with increasing desperation when the payment will come through. Dunleavy pitches Permanent Fund dividend change amid legislative splits, ExxonMobil becomes latest sponsor to sever Iditarod ties. He needs a “roundabout date” to tell bill collectors when he can pay, he said, and the wait has been frustrating. If it tried, the money would not be reimbursed. “At that time, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced that the program would be operational in six to eight weeks,” she said. Alex DeMarban is a longtime Alaska journalist who covers business, the oil and gas industries and general assignments. This left us with 23 places in Alaska. Please do not attempt to contact the UI claim centers … “We are telling the state, keep your promise, do your job,” Patterson, 30, said of the rally. A form to help you do so can be found on Alaska's unemployment website. AlaskaJobs is accessed through myAlaska and you will need a … Now, callers say they’re hearing a prerecorded message that disconnects the phone line at the end. “My unemployment just barely covered my electric with $20 left over for two weeks. Biden blocks drilling in ANWR, among his first acts as president, Bernie and his mittens travel Alaska, in meme form, Alaska development bank forecloses on oil field assets after $70 million investment, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, said the unemployment insurance program is staffed with long-term employees who are committed to doing a good job. “You can’t get through,” she said. … But on Friday, it was still unknown when the money — representing up to six weeks of $300 extra payments — would arrive. But programming issues have been a problem in the past, and there would be challenges with standing up a new system for a service that’s heavily regulated by the federal government, she said. Unemployment is one of the most critical economic issues facing the country as it balances re-opening with safety months into the pandemic. Northwest Arctic Borough, AK unemployment … While many have reported problems, Filiori said she was successful applying online and reaching unemployment experts by phone. On Friday, the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development announced that the COVID-19 small business grants program was being expanded. “They should have sat people down and handwritten the damn checks.”. Another is that some live in locations appropriate to a subsistence economy that have not yet become, and may never be, viable in a Western cash economy in the long … It then began a slow but steady recovery that reached a low of 3.5% in February 2020. The supplement, known as Lost Wages Assistance, was approved by President Donald Trump in August, using money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That’s what happened to Kendra Skultka of Sitka, a former commercial fisherman who worked at a restaurant until it closed during the coronavirus pandemic. I know it’s frustrating, but it’s frustrating for (workers) too, because they’re breaking new ground. A record number of people are applying for unemployment benefits as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and state systems are struggling to withstand the traffic. From then until Spring of 2007, the Alaska unemployment rate went down to an all time low of 5.9% for that decade. 6,933 jobs available in Alaska on Indeed.com. “That’s just nowhere near enough.”. The department erred when it said the money would go out last week but did not deliver, she said. FEMA approved the grant for Alaska on Aug. 23, ahead of many other states, according to FEMA’s website. 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