Delaware jobless rate ends year at 6.9%

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Delaware’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ended the year at 6.9 percent, up slightly from 6.7 percent in November.

The December figures from the Delaware Department of Labor reflect a continuing pattern of sluggish job growth that trails less-than-robust national employment gains.

At the same time, Delaware’s unemployment rate was well below the 9.6 figure for New Jersey, but slightly above the 6.6 percent rate in Maryland.

Month-to-month comparisons can be  difficult to make,  since figures are often adjusted, labor officials note.

The number of jobless Delawareans totaled 30,500 in December 2012, compared to 31,800 in December 2011. The national unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in December 2012, unchanged from a revised 7.8 percent in November 2012. In December 2011, the nation’s. unemployment rate was 8.5 percent..

In December 2012, seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment totaled 418,900, up slightly from 418,000 in November 2012.

The increase of 900 jobs was mainly due to increases in education and health, and professional and business Services.

Since December 2011, Delaware’s total nonfarm jobs increased by a net gain of 2,600, a rise of 0.6 percent.

Nationally, jobs during that period increased 1.4 percent. Over the past 12 months, the job gains in Delaware were in education and health,  up 1,900; transportation, warehousing and utilities, 1,,000; retail trade, up 900; financial activities, plus 900. The largest over-the-year job losses were in construction, down 1,100, and state government, minus 1,100.

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