Delaware Public Media

Delaware unemployment dips again in September

Oct 16, 2020

Unemployment across the nation and in Delaware is still high, but continues its steady decline after spiking over the summer.

The First State’s unemployment rate was 8.2 percent for the month of September, down from 8.9 percent the month before.

The U.S. rate was at 7.9 percent, down from 8.4 percent in August.

State Division of Unemployment Director Darryl Scott says continuous claims in Delaware are below 30,000 for the first time since April, but he notes initial claims ticked up this past week after trending down for a while. 

“We just exceeded more than 2,000 claims, and that’s the first time in 10 weeks that we’ve been above the 2,000-unit mark. So that’s a slight upward trend," said Scott. "If you look at the trend since the middle of June, we’ve been trending down.”  

Unemployment peaked in Delaware at 15.8 percent in May.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Lost Wages Assistance program offering some Delawareans an extra $300 in weekly unemployment benefits hinges on the states three-month rolling unemployment average. The program will end if the average drops below 8 percent. It was above 10 percent in August.

The First State added 2,100 new jobs last month for a total of 428,800. That’s still 37,500 fewer than the same time a year ago.

The biggest loss has been in the leisure and hospitality industry with 13,000 fewer jobs.