DOVER — Delaware’s unemployment rate continues to trend down, according to data released by the Delaware Department of Labor, however the job market has not recovered to where it was before the pandemic.
As presented in the October Monthly Labor Review, published Friday, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October 2021 is 5.3%. That percentage is on par with the state’s long-run average unemployment rate as measured from January 2001 through October 2021.
Still, in February 2020, Delaware’s unemployment rate was 4.5%.
When there’s full employment — meaning all who are willing and able to work are employed — Delaware’s unemployment rate can drop below 4%.
There were fewer jobs available to Delawareans in October 2021, as well — with 25,800 unemployed Delawareans, there are 3,600 more unemployed and 15,700 fewer jobs in October 2021 than in February 2020.
The labor review also reports an increase in the consumer price index — a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services — since October 2020.
The labor review reports data on CPI as an average from the Philadelphia, Camden, New Jersey and Wilmington areas. For those areas, the CPI changed by 5.6% since October 2020. There was an average CPI change of 6.2% in American cities since October 2020.
While the state has not fully recovered, there are some signs of progress. Delaware’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to trend down with the October 2021 rate being 5.3%, which is down from 5.4% in September 2021.
There also was a decrease in unemployment. October 2021’s 25,800 unemployed is down from 27,500 in October 2020.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.6% in October 2021, down from 4.8% in September 2021. In October 2020, the U.S. unemployment rate was 6.9%, while Delaware’s rate was 5.7%.
In October 2021, the seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment was 452,300, up from 449,900 in September 2021. Since October 2020, Delaware’s total nonfarm jobs have increased by a net gain of 8,400, a rise of 1.9%. Nationally, jobs during that period increased 3.9%.
Wilmington and Dover continue to hold the highest percentages of unemployment, though the rates are not seasonally adjusted. Wilmington’s unemployment rate in October 2021 was 6.8% and Dover’s was 7.1%. However, both rates are lower than September 2021, when they were 7.6% and 7.7%, respectively.
In Delaware’s three counties, Kent County had the highest rate of unemployment in October with 5.2%. It was followed by New Castle County’s 4.5% unemployment rate and Sussex County’s 4.1%.
Hours and earnings show a small improvement from September to October 2021. In September 2021, hourly earnings were an average of $28.73 to October’s $29.20. Weekly earnings in October 2021 were $960.68 to September 2021’s $953.84.