Delaware job growth not keeping pace with population

(Rick Bowmer/AP Photo)

(Rick Bowmer/AP Photo)

The latest unemployment numbers from the Department of Labor show Delaware’s job market continues to be stagnant.

The November jobs report showed a 0.1 percent decline in the unemployment rate for Delaware to 4.7 from 4.8 percent in October. But even though the rate has dropped by 0.1 two months in a row, the state’s job market is still struggling to get going.

According to the monthly commentary from the Dept. of Labor, the rate fell in November not because more unemployed residents found work. “Rather, it appears to be the result of some no longer seeking work, for various reasons,” the Dept. of Labor said in a statement. Only residents actively seeking work are counted as unemployed. If they give up their job search, they are no longer counted in the unemployment rate.

Delaware’s unemployment rate rose steadily through much of 2017. (chart via Dept. of Labor)

“While this survey has its ups and downs and monthly changes often have little economic meaning, it shows much the same thing over the past two years–- job growth that is not keeping up with the growth in working-age population,” the DOL statement said.

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The number of unemployed Delawareans dropped by 1,200 over the past two months, but the total number of employed residents also dropped by 900. “The separate survey of employers in the state shows an even steeper decline of 3,000 jobs over [October and November.]”

The tough job market doesn’t affect all residents equally either. In the past year, the unemployment rate for whites has stayed a 3.7 percent. The rate for Hispanics has declined from 5 percent to 3.3 percent, while the rate for black workers has increased from 6.1 percent to 8.2 percent.

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