Delaware Public Media

Delaware adds jobs in January, unemployment rate holds

Mar 6, 2018

Delaware’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.5% in January. Early numbers also show the addition of more than two thousand non-farm jobs in the state, but experts say the growth could be attributed to the change of seasons.

George Sharpley is the Chief of Labor Market information at the Department of Labor. He says it’s still too early to predict a trend in job growth.

“The January data: you always need to take them with a little bit of skepticism, because the seasonal adjustment is very difficult this time of year,” said Sharpley.

Recent adjustments to last year’s unemployment rate in Delaware dropped the total from 4.7% to 4.6%, and changed the total job loss from very little to none.

Late last year, Sharpley forecasted a small growth of jobs in the state for 2018 if the national economy continued to grow. He now says he fears federal tariffs on international trade may prevent that from happening.

“I’m not nearly as confident the national economy is going to grow now with recent announcements of tariffs,” said Sharpley.