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The jobless figure reflects a narrowing gap between the unemployment rates for Delaware and the nation as a whole. The nation’s unemployment rate in December was 7.9 percent in January. Delaware has typically seen an unemployment rate a percent or more below the national number.
Seasonally adjusted employment in January was 425,300, up from 421,000 during the same period in December. However, the total number of unemployed rose by about 600 from a month earlier. That could be a reflection of those dropping out of the labor force now looking for work.
Gains in jobs came in professional and business service, and leisure and hospitality.
On the plus side, the rate of employmentt growth in Delaware now amounts 1.5 percent, equal to the national percentage. Recently the job growth figure for the state was even less robust than the national number. Overall, total employment is up about 6,000 in the January 2012 to January 2013 period.
The biggest gainer in Delaware were in Professional and Business Services at 2,500, education and health at 2,400, and financial activities at +1,000. The largest over- the-year job loss was in State Government , down 1,300.
Critics have claimed the reduction in state government employment is now holding back the momentum in job growth, even as private employers began to add to their ranks.