After a steep drop in 2016, seafood harvesting jobs grew 8.3 percent last year, the most in percent terms among all Alaska industries.

Fishing jobs hit a record in 2017 at 8,509 monthly jobs on average, and jumping to nearly 25,000 jobs in July.

According to the state Department of Labor’s November Economic Trends, salmon fishing jobs grew overall but varied considerably by region. The crab fisheries had the only employment loss.

By region, harvesting jobs in the Aleutians jumped by nearly 20 percent mostly through gains in groundfish catches.

Bristol Bay’s fishing jobs also grew overall by 6.2 percent.

The Southcentral region continued its trend of harvester job gains, adding 116 jobs for seven percent growth.

Southeast’s fishing jobs were up by 7.7 percent with halibut harvesting growing the most at 150 jobs.

Kodiak was one of the few areas to lose fishing jobs. While halibut and salmon harvesting jobs increased, losses in groundfish pushed down Kodiak harvesting employment by 81 lost jobs each month on average.

The Yukon Delta also lost fishing jobs in groundfish and salmon for an overall decline of 12.7 percent.

The November Trends shows that among all Alaska industries, seafood processing tops the list for injuries.

A rate of 8.8 injuries or illnesses per 100 full time workers is more than double the rate for other Alaska industries, and is one and a half times the national average for food manufacturing.

The most common causes of injuries in seafood processing are “contact with objects” followed by “overexertion.”

The magazine also spotlights the six small communities that make up the Aleutians East Borough.

                  Nov. 18-20, Seattle

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