Delaware Public Media

Delaware unemployment rate rises in April

May 19, 2017

Delaware’s unemployment rate continues its slow, steady rise.


According to Delaware Department of Labor’s Monthly Labor Review, the state’s jobless rate moved up another tenth of a point in April - up to 4.6 percent from 4.5 in March. It’s up three-tenths of a percent since December.


George Sharpley handles data for Delaware’s Department of Labor. He said while that percentage is not a significant increase, it is a setback for the First State because it indicates economic activity is slowing down. 


“Delaware, a few years ago, was growing faster than the rest of the nation. We were showing solid job over 2 to 3 percent a year,” Sharpley said.


 In 2016, the First State lost more than 500 jobs after gaining more than 20,000 the year before.


“In a small state like Delaware, sometimes what just a few employers do can have a big impact,” Sharpley said.


Some of the bigger employers in the state that had added jobs in the past aren’t doing the same this year, he said.


Transportation and warehousing have seen huge decreases in employment over the last year. Job growth in professional services, food services, health care and finance has slowed down.


Unemployment is highest in Kent County, at 4.9 percent, while Sussex County is at 4.7 percent and New Castle County’s unemployment is at 4.4 percent. 


Unemployment in Wilmington sits at 6.2 percent for April.