JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The state of Alaska has lost jobs for 31 straight months, a period of job losses that the state labor department says has lasted longer than the recession of the 1980s.

But the department says the ’80s recession hit harder.

Alaska’s unemployment rate stood at 7.3 percent in April, the same level it has been all year so far.

The preliminary, seasonally adjusted rate for April compares to 7.1 percent in April 2017.

The state labor department says the unemployment rate has slowly climbed since 2015 and is slightly above the 10-year average of 7.2 percent.

Nationally, the unemployment rate last month was 3.9 percent, its lowest level since 2000.

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