More people leaving Alaska than in previous years

More people left Alaska last year than they have in decades, with net migration out of the state at its highest point in in the past quarter-century.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that a report released Friday by the Alaska Department of Labor shows that about 7,500 more people moved out of the state than arrived in fiscal year 2014. The last time net departures was higher was in 1988, when 15,710 people left during an in-state recession.

Department of Labor economist Neal Fried says the departures don’t appear to be because of the state’s current financial problems, as they came before oil prices dropped.

Fried says the migration likely has more to do with improving employment opportunities in the Lower 48.