The Kenai Peninsula unemployment rate rose by 1 percent in 2017. The Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District's end of the year report, which came out last week, found the unemployment rate was at 8.7 percent, up from 7.7 percent in 2016. Still, the increase is not as bad as the unemployment hike the borough saw from 2015-2016. The oil and gas industry lost the most jobs in the borough over the past five years with roughly 200 fewer jobs.
The peninsula's unemployment rate is approximately 1 percent higher than the statewide average, but the borough is expected to gain 170 jobs in 2018.