Number of jobs in Prudhoe Bay region drops to decade low

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development states that the number of jobs in the Prudhoe Bay region dropped this year to the lowest levels since 2007.

Alaska’s Energy Desk reported Wednesday that the region had a record 13,485 jobs in March 2015, but that number has since dropped to 8,923.

The region is dominated by the oil sector and the industries that support it and has been hit hard by the oil price crash that began in 2014.

Oil prices have gone up recently, but state economist Neal Fried said it’s hard to predict whether the increase in prices will restore jobs.

Fried said sectors like fisheries, tourism and the military could help add jobs to the region, even if the oil industry doesn’t start adding jobs again.

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