2016 First Quarter Employment, Posted: 13 Oct 2016 12:39 PM PDT By Scott Goldsmith: The Alaska economy contracted at a 1.4 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2016 according to the final count by the Alaska Department of Labor.  Employment was 4.5 thousand lower in the first quarter than the previous year.  Growth slowed through early 2015 and turned negative in the second half of the year. The drop was most pronounced in four sectors.  Petroleum was down 13 percent, a loss of 1.9 thousand jobs.  Business services [...]