Employment is in an uptrend the last few years. Since 2003, jobs have been created at a rate of approximately 2000 per year. This has helped the unemployment rate drop to 6.8% for 2005 and as of July 2006, it stands at 7%. Many jobs in Alaska are seasonal, dealing with tourism, fishing and lumber and are only done in the warm summer months.
Education has drastically improved in Alaska schools with the implementation of the Alaska Yearly Progress Report part of the No Child Left Behind Act. When the first year the testing was administered in 2003, only 42% of Alaskan schools met or passed education standards. As of the year ending 2005-06, 61.2% of schools met or exceeded those same standards. The graduation rate for students is 89% for 2006, up from 82.5% in 1980.