No change in state’s unemployment rate of 3.9 percent

DOVER — According to data released Friday by the Delaware Department of Labor, Delaware’s unemployment rate remained the same from June to July.

With just 3.9 percent of Delawareans out of work, the state’s jobless rate is lower than it’s been for any month since January 2008.
After rising from 3.8 to 4 percent from May to June, the national rate dropped to 3.9 percent. Prior to last month, Delaware’s unemployment rate had been worse than the nationwide average for 14 consecutive months after remaining lower than the United States’ overall mark for more than 10 years.

“It’s pretty clear that the economy is definitely growing again after a couple years of being stagnant,” George Sharpley, chief of the Office of Occupational and Labor Market Information, said.

He believes the First State’s rate is likely to drop a few tenths of a percent more by the end of the year, although he does not expect it to match Delaware’s all-time record of 3 percent, last achieved in September 1987.

Among the counties, Sussex leads the way with 3.6 percent unemployment, followed by New Castle at 4.2 percent. Kent comes in last at 4.8 percent, with Dover at 6.2 percent, although the county and city figures are not seasonally adjusted.

“The counties seem to take turns periodically, so I can’t really point to anything specific,” Dr. Sharpley said, although he noted New Castle has seen an increase in banking jobs recently while real estate in Sussex, especially along the beach, has been strong.

Delaware’s unemployment rate has improved .7 percent over the past 12 months, and the fields of construction, transportation and utilities, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality have all seen solid growth in that timeframe.
The United States’ unemployment rate over the past four months is the best it has been since 2000.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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