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Saturday, October 17, 2009

State of the Union in Alaska

John King talks about what will be on Sunday's State of the Union with John King in this week's behind the scenes video: WH Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanual, Senator John Kerry, his trip to Alaska (along with some video that he shot), and the diner segment which was done in Wasilla, Alaska.

You can read more about King's trip to Alaska in King's report: Alaska catching up with the rest of the country on recession.

King with Alaska Governor Sean Parnell

Sharon Phillips is a regular at the Anchorage Jobs Center Midtown -- grateful for the resource but a bit frustrated she has to keep coming.

"I am one of 70 or 80 people putting in for just about every position," Phillips told us during a visit this past week. "It's been difficult."

Phillips has been looking for work for more than eight months now, often using the computerized job listings at the state-run jobs center.

"I put in for probably 10, eight to 10 jobs a week. I've been interviewed for about four a week. And I'm still unemployed," she said.

Brad Gillespie, the Anchorage, Alaska, regional manager for the job centers, says about 900 people a week visit the midtown facility. That's up 20 percent to 30 percent from the same time a year ago.

"We're a seasonal economy up here, and we're getting into winter season," Gillespie said. "So tourism is down. Construction work, too. "And the Anchorage International Airport is an international hub for freight operations, and that's been impacted by the economy turning down."

New numbers released Friday show that the state unemployment rate is 8.4 percent -- up from 6.7 percent a year ago. The job market is so tight that the state now posts a caution on its Division of Employment Security Web site suggesting people not move to Alaska unless they already have work lined up.

... to continue reading Alaska catching up with the rest of the country on recession.

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