Del. job growth stagnant

    After some promising signs earlier in the year, unemployment numbers have stabilized.

    Delaware’s unemployment rate is holding steady according to the latest report from the state Department of Labor.

    For the third consecutive month, the jobless rate has remained unchanged at 8.4 percent.  That compares to the national rate of 9.6 percent. The labor force statistics are through the month of September.

    George Sharpley, senior economist at the Delaware Department of Labor, says while the unemployment rate has stabilized, it also means job growth has stagnated.

    “The economic growth that we have been seeing since early this year appears to have slowed, at least for the time being,” he said. “I do believe that growth will pick up and the unemployment rate will resume its decline in the near future.”

    In March the number of unemployed peaked at 9.2 percent. Four months later in July it had fallen all the way to 8.4 percent. But it’s been stuck there ever since.

    “We would like to see the unemployment rate fall below 5 percent,” Sharpley said. “That will probably take several more years to occur.”

    Sussex County has the lowest jobless rate among the state’s three counties at 7.7 percent, followed by Kent (8.3) and New Castle (8.4).

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