- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The state labor department says Alaska jobs declined in the third quarter of 2014.

The average number of jobs in July, August and September was lower compared to the same period in 2013. The largest number of losses was in local and federal government. Jobs in manufacturing, wholesale and professional and business services also declined.

State economist Caroline Schultz said the numbers showed slowing private sector growth, and that the private sector was no longer making up for public sector job loss.

Some industries still saw job growth, including retail, leisure and hospitality, and natural resources like mining and oil and gas.

Schultz said while the decline in jobs could lend credence to the argument Alaska is entering a recession, she wasn’t ready to say the state is in one.

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