Delaware’s unemployment rate fell to 6.8% in October. That’s the first time it has been below 7% since December 2008.
At that time, though, Delaware was losing jobs. The Chrysler plant in Newark was closing and the state was about to learn it faced an $800 million budget deficit. Governor Ruth Ann Minner was winding up 8 years as chief executive. Jack Markell would be sworn in the next month.
This jobs picture is a lot more upbeat. The number of Delawareans looking for work is now below 30,000, and 1,500 more state residents found jobs last month. Since October 2012, the Delaware Department of Labor reports 8,800 new non-farm jobs or an increase of 2.1%. That puts Delaware ahead of the national average, which is at 1.7% new job creation.
Delaware’s unemployment numbers were stuck between 7.3 and 7.4% for much of the spring and summer of 2013. The September jobless rate was 7.1%.
Delaware’s unemployment report usually comes out 2 weeks after the national numbers are reported. The government shutdown affected the reporting of the national rate.