Alaska gained jobs in January and February, marking a turning point for the economy after more than three years of losses.

The first two months of the year each saw employment growth compared to the same months in 2018, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Employment in January was up 0.3 percent, and employment in February was up 0.1 percent, estimates from the department show.

The figures were modest but still an encouraging sign that the state is pulling out of its long recession, said Karinne Wiebold, an economist with the labor department. The uptick comes after 39 months of job losses.

“It’s small growth, but it’s definitely a positive direction,” she said.

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