Delaware unemployment rate falls slightly


DOVER — Delaware’s official unemployment rate has dropped 0.3 percent since the first of the year according to the February Labor Report issued by the Office of Occupational and Labor Market Information Friday.

George Sharpley, chief of the office, said not to put too much stock into that number.

“What we usually see is that the monthly report seems a little too sensitive to change while the later revision is a little too insensitive,” he said. “So it’s unlikely that this change happened over two months, but it’s safe to say Delaware’s economy is doing pretty well.”

Dr. Sharpley said it’s important to keep in mind that the monthly results are based on survey data from both employers and households, so the most accurate numbers come at the end of each quarter and end of the year when reports are completedbased on official payroll numbers.

But when looking at the official numbers from 2015, the nation increased jobs by just 2 percent and Delaware increased by 2.4 percent.

“With these numbers we can say that we are comfortably ahead of the nation when it comes to a growing economy,” Dr. Sharpley said.

According to the survey data, just as in February of last year, Sussex County continues to lead the state in joblessness at 5.4 percent compared to 4.5 percent in New Castle and 5 percent in Kent.

All three counties have a lower unemployment rate now than they did last year at the same time. Sussex dropped by .9 percent, New Castle dropped by .4 percent and Kent dropped by 0.7 percent.

Although the unemployment rates are down, an estimated 21,800 Delawareans are still out of work.

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