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Economic Development News

Delaware wages growing more slowly than U.S.

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The December employment numbers for Delaware are discouraging, according to a new report from DECON First, a Newark economic consulting firm.

From November through December, total employment in Delaware dropped, and the growth rate in total employment on a year over year basis was less than one percent, the report said. Although the Delaware unemployment rate remained steady at a low 4.3 percent, this was due to more than 11,500 residents dropping out of the labor force since May. This was accompanied by a drop of almost 12,000 in the number of Delaware residents employed.

Due to the types of jobs being added in the state — restaurants and temporary help — total wages in Delaware continued to increase far more slowly than across the nation, resulting in slower growth in Delaware personal income, DECON First said.

DECON First Economist John E. Stapleford said the slow economy reduces expansion and start ups in the state. He recommended a right to work law and the elimination of the estate tax. Seventy-four percent of manufacturing jobs are located in the 27 states that have right to work laws, he said. Stapleford said the state’s current estate tax boosts state revenues no more than .1 percent.

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