Delaware unemployment rate 8.4% in November

About 35,500 Delawareans were out of work in November, as the state’s unemployment rate rose by 0.1% to 8.4%. 

The Delaware Department of Labor says cutbacks in retail trade, wholesale trade and government jobs were the main contributors to the decrease of 1,400 jobs over the month.  Labor analyst George Sharpley says seasonal hiring did not take off as much as expected last month.  He says it is possible that many retailers and employment agencies waited until early December to make their seasonal hires.

Meanwhile, construction may be picking up, with 400 related jobs added in November.

“Also, health care has been pretty solid,” Sharpley says.  Hiring is also up in the restaurant and entertainment sectors, due mainly to the addition of table games at Delaware’s casinos. 

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Sharpley says some construction-related positions may be attributed to stimulus-related projects.  However, other stimulus job-creators, such as US Census positions, are gone.  He expects to see some growth in administrative and support services, which could include security, landscaping and call centers.  Also, there could be job opportunities in professional areas such as accounting, engineering and the legal field.

Elected officials in Delaware are putting a lot of effort into developing clean energy technology.  The NRG Bluewater Wind project to build an offshore wind farm off the coast of Rehoboth Beach is still going through the process of obtaining permits.

Sharpley says in the near term, there could be construction jobs in the ‘green energy’ field, such as installing insulation and making existing buildings more energy-efficient.

“In the longer term,” he says, “I think the hope is for knowledge-based positions, and with groups like Fisker Automotive coming into the state.”  Fisker plans to build an energy-efficient vehicle at the former General Motors plant on Boxwood Road near Wilmington.

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