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Jobs numbers improve in Delaware as unemployment rate drops

Delaware Public Media

Unemployment numbers dropped in October after remaining steady a month earlier.

Delaware’s seasonal adjusted unemployment rate for October was 5.3 percent - down from 5.4 percent.

The drop last month was reflected throughout the state, as all three counties, Wilmington, Newark, and Dover all saw drops in their unemployment rate from September. Only Newark’s unemployment numbers are still higher than a year ago.

"Things are looking up. Unemployment rates are declining which is good. We got a good jobs report this month of 2,400 jobs over the month. We saw some over the month gains in the transportation, warehouse, and utilities which were up 1,200 jobs over the month," said Tom Dougherty, Chief of Delaware’s Office of Occupational Labor Market Information. "Financial activities were up 700 jobs over the month so we're seeing some good numbers as far as industries go and hopefully that trend will continue."

Dougherty adds there are some factors helping the drop in unemployment numbers throughout the state.

"The general economy is improving. We have the issue with the COVID and things are returning to normal, more people are getting back to work, and the economy is in good shape right now," said Dougherty. "So the unemployment rate has been falling."

But Delaware still lags behind the national unemployment rate of 4.6 percent.

And there were still 3,600 more unemployed and 15,700 fewer jobs last month than prior to the pandemic in February 2020 when the unemployment rate was 4.5 percent.

In the last 12 months, nonfarm jobs in the state have seen a net gain of 8,400 or just under 2 percent. Nationally, jobs have increased at almost 4 percent in that same period.