Delaware unemployment rate dips in July
DOVER – Delaware’s unemployment rate finally fell 10 basis points in July after a four-month lull, as the First State continued to match the national trend but now sits just above the states with the worst unemployment, according to state officials.
July also saw job gains of 1,900 add to more than 5,000 jobs created since February, and Delaware added 100 more jobseekers to continue pushing its record-high labor force over half a million, according to the monthly report released Friday morning.
The labor force captures not only workers and those receiving unemployment benefits, but also those in search of work who aren’t receiving assistance. As workers stop seeking work, for a variety of reasons ranging from retirement to child care needs, they are no longer counted as being unemployed in the state.
Delaware’s July unemployment rate dropped to 4.4%, but was still significantly higher than the national average, which also dipped 10 points to 3.5%.
About a year ago, Delaware’s rate was lower than the national average, but the state has since steadily fallen behind in its recovery. It ranked tied for 45th in unemployment rate among states in July, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. It has fallen behind New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania, which ranked 33rd, 38th and 44th at 3.7%, 3.9% and 4.3%, respectively. Minnesota had the lowest rate of 1.8%, while New Mexico and Alaska tied for the highest at 4.5%.
The Delaware Department of Labor’s report is taken monthly during the calendar week that contains the 12th day. The state recorded 22,200 unemployed last month, a decrease of 500 people over June.
The official monthly unemployment figure is created by looking at continuous unemployment insurance claims as well as a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of residents on their employment status. It tracks not only those receiving benefits, but also those who are ineligible, such as terminated employees, those who have resigned and the self-employed, who only became eligible for assistance under a special federal program established under the CARES Act.
The state’s three counties saw differing rates of unemployment in July, with New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties reporting rates of 4.9%, 5.6% and 3.8%, respectively – although those statistics aren’t seasonally adjusted. Wilmington and Dover, the state’s two most populous cities, have seen an even greater impact in job losses, where 6.5% and 7.4% of workers were unemployed, respectively.
The largest monthly job gains came in the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 1,600 jobs last month after adding 2,400 in May and June, heading into the busy summer season. Industry job statistics are likewise not seasonally adjusted, meaning such summertime boosts are expected.
That was followed by unsorted industries, which added 400 jobs; the professional and business services sector, which added 300; government, which added 300; the transportation, trade and utilities sector, which added 200; and construction, which added 100.
Leading to job losses was education and health care, which lost a total of 800 jobs, followed by financial activities, which lost 200.