Alaska population falls for first time in 29 years

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska’s population has fallen for the first time in 29 years as the state’s oil-driven recession continues.

The Juneau Empire reports that state figures released on Wednesday show the state’s population is 737,080. That’s down 2,629 from 2016 and is the first decrease since 1988.

The number of people moving out was only partially balanced by the number of new births.

Preliminary figures from the state Department of Labor show Alaska lost 3,600 jobs between 2016 and 2017. Another 1,800 jobs are expected to be lost between 2017 and 2018.

A federal population estimate will be released in March, but the state’s data is considered to be more accurate.

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