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Delaware's unemployment rate drops last month, but the job growth also declines

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down in September.

"The unemployment rate fell to 4.3% from 4.5% in August. So that was a good decline in the unemployment rate. A year ago the unemployment rate was 5%, so we've declined 0.7% over the year. So we're on a good trend of downward unemployment rate numbers," said Tom Dougherty with the Department of Labor.

But Delaware’s unemployment rate still pales in comparison to the national rate which was at 3.5% in September.

One reason the state rate lags behind the national number is the slower growth in Delaware’s labor force - just 0.3% here since June 2021 compared to 2.2% nationally.

Unemployment rates in all three counties were also down along with rates in Wilmington, Newark, and Dover.

The city and county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Meanwhile, Delaware’s nonfarm employment numbers saw a decline in September of 2,900.

Dougherty says two sectors fueled that drop.

"Overall I think we're doing well. This month unfortunately we had a decline in the jobs numbers. The decline is coming basically from two main areas really. Leisure and hospitality which is down 1,800 over the month, and government which is down 1,200 over the month. So there's the two industries which are really pulling us down this month," said Dougherty.

Despite the down September, Leisure and Hospitality has seen a net increase from a year ago, while government jobs are now a net negative over 12 months.

The drop in employment numbers is the first decline since January, when it fell by 200 jobs. It was down 2,500 last September.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.