DOVER — Although the civilian labor force in the First State reached more than 500,000 workers in May, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged for the third consecutive month.
According to its monthly report, released Friday, the Delaware Department of Labor calculated that the state’s unemployment level remained at 4.5% in May — the same as March and April.
“The number of Delaware jobs continues to grow, adding a net 8,100 or 1.8 percent over May 2021,” said the labor study released each month.
The state’s labor force participation rate of 61.2% also remained unchanged, according to labor analysts.
There were 22,600 unemployed Delawareans in May, a third of the number of those unemployed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020 when 65,600 people were out of work in the state.
Despite the state’s overall percentage remaining the same, local unemployment rates dipped slightly in May, according to the report.
Sussex County’s unemployment rate went to 3.8%, down from 4.2. Kent County’s unemployment rate went from 5.1% in April to 5% in May and New Castle County is at 4.2% down from 4.3%.
Though down slightly, 6.8% from 7%, Dover has the highest unemployment of the areas tracked in the Department of Labor’s report.
In the First State, 42,700 people of the state’s total civilian labor force work in the agriculture sector.
In the nonagriculture categories, the leisure and hospitality sectors gained the most employees in May. According to the monthly study, 1,000 new people started working in that category, bringing the number of total employees to 49,100.
The retail trade sector saw the most loss in employees with 800 people leaving the industry.
The education and health sector has seen more than 2,000 people in Delaware leave the category from January to April, but in May, the number of people employed in that group did not change.
The U.S. unemployment rate was at 3.6% in May, also unchanged from April’s figures.
According to the Delaware Department of Labor’s report, the First State’s private sector employees worked about 33.1 hours a week in May and brought home an average of $982.41 per week. The average hourly rate of pay in Delaware was $29.68 last month.