State jobless rate could drop again for January

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Delaware’s unemployment rate for January could decrease, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s nowcast.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases national employment figures weeks ahead of state estimates, which leaves followers of state economies with unanswered questions about the direction of local activity.

In filling the time gap, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia produces regular unemployment rate estimates, or “nowcasts,” for Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

During the month of January, the nation’s unemployment rate increased from 3.9 percent to 4 percent. Despite the uptick, job growth came in above estimates.

Using an analytical method created by Bank researchers, the bank expects unemployment rates for January to decrease from 3.7 percent to 3.6 percent in Delaware and remain unchanged at 4.2 percent in Pennsylvania and 4.0 percent in New Jersey.

Delaware’s economy has been showing strength in job growth, although the state Department of Labor has cautioned that the state could see downward adjustments in job growth and employment for 2018 in March. The adjustments come when estimates are replaced with payroll data.

The next state nowcast release will be on March 11 following the BLS release of the January state employment report.

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