While many have reported problems, Filiori said she was successful applying online and reaching unemployment experts by phone. The department erred when it said the money would go out last week but did not deliver, she said. Alaska Job Center Network. Rachael Byrd, who was general manager of Juneau’s Salt restaurant, said she applied March 22 but ran into an issue. 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. So we’re looking at putting some patches in pretty quick.”. © 2021 Anchorage Daily News. People who are out of work should reach out to the department’s reemployment services, Ledbetter said. “An additional 75 staff will be hired this week,” Ledbetter wrote by email. The program needs a mechanism so payments rise with inflation, she said. That extra payment was authorized for Alaskans who care for children or dependent adults. “They’re so, so flooded with people.”. Skagway Municipality, AK unemployment rate . Employment with the State of Alaska is more than just a job. State Rep. Geran Tarr, D-Anchorage, said some Alaskans have contacted her, asking with increasing desperation when the payment will come through. You can register for an account with AKDOL either online or on paper. The boost would come on top of the regular weekly unemployment payment, which averaged about $250 before the pandemic began. © 2021 Anchorage Daily News. Once registered, you’ll be issued … 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. “When I get emails like that, that rings alarm bells.”. 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. 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. The next day, he was told he didn’t have a job at all. The unemployment rate peaked at around 10% following the 2008–09 financial crisis. By. 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. Lex Treinen, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage - March 19, 2020. The supplement, known as Lost Wages Assistance, was approved by President Donald Trump in August, using money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In Alaska, you can file an unemployment benefits claim either online or by phone. Alaska is assessing President Trump’s Executive Order issued August 8th which potentially extends additional Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. Many more Alaskans are believed to be out of work but have not filed for one reason or another. (James Brooks / ADN). 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. “If there is any tiny shred of silver lining to this pandemic, I think folks are beginning to recognize that Alaska’s UI benefits are significantly lagging behind and it needs to increase," Drygas said. Since the pandemic began, he lost work as a carpet cleaner, and his fiancee lost her job as a bartender. Alaska law provides severe penalties for attempting to collect benefits fraudulently. To access employment and training resources we encourage the use of our online resources at www.jobs.alaska.gov or you may contact your local job center at (877) 724-2539 to speak to a job center representative. Beau Sylte of Sitka said that can’t come soon enough. In 2019, the unemployment rate in Alaska was 6.1 percent. 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. When he tried to update his application, the online process prompted him to call. Search site Advanced Search. “If I don’t get my unemployment, I don’t know what we’re going to do,” Moody said. 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. It then began a slow but steady recovery that reached a low of 3.5% in February 2020. Also, Alaska often refers to Employment Security Tax (EST) rather than unemployment insurance tax. Juneau artist Amanda Filori is one of more than 30,000 Alaskans who have applied for unemployment in the past three weeks. This problem of how we count people’s activities in Alaska is incremental to the problems with the unemployment rate as a statistic everywhere. He managed to get through by phone but said that as a self-employed freelancer, the system wasn’t ready for him. Since then, it gradually improved as businesses have attempted to reopen safely, … Claims are effective Sunday of the week in which you open or reopen it. He needs a “roundabout date” to tell bill collectors when he can pay, he said, and the wait has been frustrating. ’Patience, ’ she said, was key. Now, callers say they’re hearing a prerecorded message that disconnects the phone line at the end. Juneau-based James Brooks covers state government, the Alaska Legislature and general assignments for the Daily News. On Thursday, for example, the Alaska Department of Labor said Alaskans can apply weekly for unemployment, instead of every two weeks, as had been the practice before now. The unemployment rate in Alaska peaked in April 2020 at 13.5% and is now 5.4 percentage points lower. … Dunleavy pitches Permanent Fund dividend change amid legislative splits, ExxonMobil becomes latest sponsor to sever Iditarod ties. “You can’t get through,” she said. Relief and retroactive payments are coming, they say, but many Alaskans worry whether it will come in time for them to pay bills. 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. She said she had the best luck calling the statewide toll-free number. [More than 36,000 Alaskans file jobless claims in 3 weeks as coronavirus stifles the economy]. It’s a scary and frustrating situation and more communication about it from the state would be nice,” she said. Alaskans applying for unemployment say they’re feeling frustrated by clogged phone lines, uncertain regulations and a confusing application process. With 40,000 Alaskans on unemployment and 90,000 having received assistance this year, we are in unprecedented territory. The extra payment that didn’t come last week, as expected, was difficult for his family, he said. On Sunday, he learned along with the rest of the state that Alaska’s largest rural airline had declared bankruptcy. 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 … It is going to take them one, to three to four weeks on the outside to get this running. To file a claim and to manage your account, go here and create an online account. Since 2005 the unemployment rate in Alaska has ranged from 5.2% in August 1998 to 13.7% in April 2020. If you are unable to file online, you can file by phone using the automated filing system … Dunleavy pitches Permanent Fund dividend change amid legislative splits, ExxonMobil becomes latest sponsor to sever Iditarod ties. Apply to Processor, Receptionist, Talent Bank Employee - Positions Available Are: Full Time -- Part Time -- On Call and more! 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 current unemployment rate for Alaska is 6.4% for August 2020. (James Brooks / ADN), The offices of the Alaska Department of Labor are seen Thursday, April 9, 2020 in Juneau. Once operational, individuals may be eligible for $600 per week, plus the a state benefit which will closely mirror the current coverage for insured workers.”. We settled upon any place with over 2,000 people and data available for our criteria. 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. Though many changes are still in the works, Ledbetter said the department has already eliminated the requirement that Alaskans prove they are seeking work while unemployed and has waived a one-week waiting period for benefits. 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. This is down from a high of 8.9 percent in 1992. “In the age of instant everything, they take months and months,” he said. “I kept calling and calling, never getting through — days in a row,” she said. What we do makes a difference to the people of Alaska. “Income verification, USDOL reporting agreements, staff training, and a new requirement to deduct federal withholding tax are currently in the works. Alaska unemployment claims skyrocket after coronavirus shuts down restaurants. 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 … “My unemployment just barely covered my electric with $20 left over for two weeks. 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. On Friday, the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development announced that the COVID-19 small business grants program was being expanded. When additional information is available we will update this message. Reports of Fraud or suspicion can be reported by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; fax at (907) 269-4835; or phone at (907) 269-4880 or toll free at (877) 272-4635. “Our hardware, software system to be able to distribute those checks, we’re having a problem with it,” he said. With rent and other bills coming due for Alaskans, the state has still not distributed the maximum $1,800 federal boost to unemployment benefits that tens of thousands of residents have been counting on. Northwest Arctic Borough, AK unemployment … JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Claims for unemployment benefits have risen sharply in Alaska as concerns over the coronavirus ripple through the state, officials said Thursday. 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. 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. All rights reserved. “At that time, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced that the program would be operational in six to eight weeks,” she said. Starting Aug. 6, commercial fishermen across Alaska can apply for grants worth between $5,000 and $100,000. Take Our Survey and Tell Us What You Think! Labor Commissioner Tamika Ledbetter said Wednesday that “there are approximately 100 staff currently assigned to the processing of unemployment insurance claims.”. 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. [Earlier coverage: Tens of thousands of Alaskans await $300 weekly unemployment boost as state blames tech glitches]. 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. The state is in the “final stages” of testing the payments, the statement said. Several beneficiaries awaiting the supplement have reached out to the Daily News in recent weeks, expressing frustration with the lack of payments needed for rent, food and other expenses, after the COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread layoffs. Alaska will continue to update our information concerning the CARES Act as it becomes available. “It’s been a really long time since Alaskans saw the $600 benefit,” and they need to pay bills, she said. Heidi Drygas, an attorney who led the state labor department under former Gov. Principal Causes of the Unemployment Problem. (That peak was less than a third of the current weekly volume.). Please do not attempt to contact the UI claim centers … Unemployment is one of the most critical economic issues facing the country as it balances re-opening with safety months into the pandemic. 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. You can file a claim online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Bill Walker, said the unemployment insurance program is staffed with long-term employees who are committed to doing a good job. “We understand that many Alaskans are in a very difficult financial situation, and we are working to get payments out as soon as possible,” said Tamika Ledbetter, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, in a statement released early Friday afternoon. “These issues will all be fought out in state legislatures,” he said. Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, was commissioner of the state Department of Labor in 2010, the last time unemployment applications peaked. A video of 66 months of Alaska unemployment in 66 seconds, from January 2007 through June 2012. Approval for a six-week program in Alaska came in early September, Ledbetter said in the statement. 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 … The state continues to cite technology issues as the reason for the delay. You must continue to file bi-weekly (every 2 weeks). Three weeks ago, anticipating the surge to come, state officials urged Alaskans to file for unemployment online. “Right now, the phone system only allows 250 calls at a time,” Spohnholz said. 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. We then looked at the unemployment rates to determine the … Register With the Department of Labor. Reach him at 907-257-4317 or email@example.com. All rights reserved. “I would tell people to keep calling. Home>Get Legal Info>Coronavirus (COVID-19) Back to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Unemployment (COVID-19) Legal Information (1) Legal Help Directory; Filter By: Language. AK Highest Unemployment by County. That many in rural Alaska still rely on the subsistence economy for many of their needs is one of the most important reasons. myAlaska Login Username: Forgot my Username: Forgot my Password: New User: Register for a myAlaska Account FEMA approved the grant for Alaska on Aug. 23, ahead of many other states, according to FEMA’s website. In April, after governments shut down the economy, the unemployment rate reached 14.7%, the highest since the Great Depression. But on Friday, it was still unknown when the money — representing up to six weeks of $300 extra payments — would arrive. If it tried, the money would not be reimbursed. 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. See how other local areas compare by using our Unemployment Compare tool. In Kodiak, Moody even tried the department’s fax number, without response so far. Barrow Unemployment Office: 1078 Kiogak Street, PO Box 949, Barrow, AK 99723 (907) 852-4111: Bristol Bay (Dillingham) Unemployment Office: 503 Wood River Rd., PO Box 1149 Dillingham, AK 99576-1149 (907) 842-5579: Eagle River Unemployment Office: 11723 Old Glenn Hwy, Sp B-4 Eagle River, AK 99577-7749 (907) 694-6904: Fairbanks Unemployment Office “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. “One person said, ‘I hope the depression doesn’t get the best of me,’” Tarr said. Once it does, it will be efficient,” Bishop said. Rachael Byrd of Juneau is one of more than 30,000 Alaskans who have applied for unemployment in the past few weeks. • The previous $600 weekly federal benefit that ended in late July was disbursed through the traditional unemployment insurance system. • The current unemployment system is designed for funds to be disbursed only through that system. (James Brooks / ADN). 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. “CARES program coverage for the self employed will be operational in the next 3 to 4 weeks,” Ledbetter wrote by email. Learn about … Once you find yourself in financial trouble getting yourself out of it is no easy task at all. Gov. A more generous unemployment insurance system may require bypassing states’ incentives. There are 18 Unemployment Offices in Alaska, serving a population of 738,565 people in an area of 570,488 square miles.There is 1 Unemployment Office per 41,031 people, and 1 Unemployment Office per 31,693 square miles.. … The Legislature has increased the payments only on rare occasions over the past two decades, she said. To apply online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, go to my.alaska.gov and click on “Unemployment Insurance Benefits”. 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. From then until Spring of 2007, the Alaska unemployment rate went down to an all time low of 5.9% for that decade. And unloading aircraft in Kodiak for 23 years Amanda Filori is one of the most critical Economic issues the... “ when I get emails like that, that rings alarm bells. ” which averaged about $ 250 before pandemic. A Guide to Alaska unemployment rate in Alaska peaked in April 2020 to! 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