Unless the economy is in the dumper, the monthly unemployment rate for Delaware rarely makes headlines.
The 4.4 percent jobless figure released was no exception. Only a few dozen people checked out the post.
By contrast, a fire set with an incendiary device at a Dollar Tree store south of New Castle and the arrest of a man from Bear drew hundreds of times as much traffic.
In its report, the state Labor Department noted that while employment growth has been sluggish in the last couple of years, Delaware outpaced the region in the number of jobs created from 2009 to 2015. Even with the sluggishness of the past couple of years, job growth ran ahead of the region as a whole.
The economy remains an issue in Delaware with critics blaming out of control spending and long-running control of the governor’s office and both houses of the Legislature by Democrats.
Also in the mix is a demographic cliff that comes as older people retire and younger people avoid potentially high paying, skilled jobs. Education, substance abuse, and a culture that fails to recognize the value of putting in a good days work also come into play.
What to do?
It is time to make job growth a bigger priority throughout the state, regardless of the apathy we see with the monthly stats.
For Democrats in Legislative Hall, it means focusing on the economy and not being continually distracted by social issues to the exclusion of other concerns. For Republicans, it means coming up with innovative solutions, rather than defaulting to simply saying no.
For both sides, the key word is bipartisanship and the recognition that hardened stances won’t get us anywhere. Former Gov. and Cong. Mike Castle recently weighed in on the issue and hinted that the bitter partisanship in Washington, DC has made its way to Dover.
Agree or disagree? Let me know. – Doug Rainey, Publisher.