Seasonally adjusted unemployment numbers remain steady in February
Delaware’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains unchanged in February.
February’s rate remained 4.6%, unchanged from January, and up a tick compared to a February 2022 when it was 4.5%.
The national number last month was 3.6%, up from 3.4% in January, but down from 3.8% in February 2022.
Overall in February there were 22,600 unemployed Delawareans compared to 22,300 in February 2022.
And the seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs numbers saw an increase to 479,900 from 478,900 in January. Compared to a year ago, it’s a net gain of 11,200.
Tom Dougherty with the Department of Labor says a couple of industries are pushing those higher numbers.
"Over the year we have the transportation/warehouse/utilities industries is up 3,000 jobs, and this is followed by financial activities which is up 2,200 jobs over the year,” said Dougherty. “On the downside we have information and other services which is down 100 over the year."
There is one negative, and that’s Delaware’s labor force participation rate declined to 59.7 in February to the second-lowest level since 1976.
Tom Dougherty with the Department of Labor explains why that number was low.
"Our labor force has been declining about 140 jobs per month, at the same time we have an increase in the population of about 1200 per month over the last year. So the combination of the declining labor force and an increasing population is driving the numbers lower," said Dougherty.
The lowest labor force participation rate was at the height of the pandemic in April 2020 at 59.4.
Unemployment rates in New Castle County, Wilmington, Kent County, Dover, and Sussex County were all down in February compared to January and last February, but Newark was higher in both areas.