Unemployment rises slightly in Delaware for second month

DOVER –– Unemployment increased in Delaware by one-tenth of a percent for the second consecutive month, rising to 4.7 percent in June, according to the Monthly Labor Report issued by the Delaware Department of Labor Friday.

The Delaware unemployment rate remains lower than a year ago when it was 5.9 percent, and lower than the current national unemployment rate of 5.3 percent.

“The numbers we’re looking at are seasonally adjusted and we’ve seen the same slight downward movement in the previous two summers so it may just be the seasonal trends have been changing,” insisted state economist Dr. George Sharpley.

Seasonal adjustments are made to take into account increased employment during the summer months due to more open businesses or a large number of teens getting jobs just for the summer.

“With such a small change, even though it is an increase, I wouldn’t say this change is negative,” Dr. Sharpley said.

“I would consider the numbers steady.”

When looking at individual counties in the report, Kent County retains the highest unemployment rate. Kent led the pack last month and at this time last year.

Sussex has the lowest unemployment at 4.4 percent, New Castle is in the middle with 5.2 percent and Kent is at 5.7 percent.

Although Kent remains in the worst position when it comes to unemployment, it’s still an improvement from last year when the county’s unemployment rate was 7.1 percent.

All the data reported by the Department of Labor each month is based on voluntary survey data. Official numbers, based off payroll numbers, are used for the quarterly and annual reports.

“The next quarterly report will be available in August. The numbers are already in and we are reviewing them now,” Dr. Sharpley said.

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