Delaware edges closer to ‘full employment’

    (AP photo/Mark Lennihan)

    (AP photo/Mark Lennihan)

    March was a good month for job hunters in Delaware- unemployment went down to 4.4 percent.

    There is still room for improvement, since from 1997-2007 the unemployment rate averaged 3.8 percent, but other data indicates Delaware may get to that number.

    The amount of time people are unemployed is down to 14.6 weeks, compared to 24.5 weeks in 2010. According to the Department of Labor, in 2010 61 percent of unemployed workers were out of work for at least 15 weeks and 48 percent for at least six months.

    Today 50 percent are still looking for work after 15 weeks and only 29 percent for six months – which, according to the DOL, means Delaware is getting closer to “full employment.”

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    “Full employment can be described as when unemployed people can find work within a reasonable amount of time,” Chief Economist at Delaware Department of Labor Dr. George Sharpley explained.

    Some of Delaware’s lowest unemployment levels occurred in 2007 when 32 percent were out of work for 15 weeks and only 14 percent searched for six months or more.

    Sharpley went on to say, “If current trends continue we could see full employment within the current year or early next year.”

    Delaware’s unemployment rate continues to fall below the national rate of 5.0 percent, which is up from 4.9 percent in February 2016.

    WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal