Delaware jobless rate remains steady at 3.2 percent as ranks of 65+ jobless workers swell


Delaware’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in June was 3.2 percent unchanged from May as the state saw a sharp decline in the number of first-time job seekers.

The Delaware Department of Labor reported 15,700 unemployed Delawareans in June compared to 18,200 in June 2018.

The nation’s unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in June 2019, up from 3.6 in May 2019. In June 2018, the US unemployment rate was 4 percent while Delaware’s rate was 3.8 percent.

In June 2019, seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment was 465,000, up from 464,500 in May 2019. Since June 2018, Delaware’s total nonfarm jobs have increased by 4,600, an increase of 1 percent. Nationally, jobs during that period increased by 1.5 percent.

In its monthly commentary, the Labor Department noted that the saw two contrasting trends this year.

Based on federal figures, the sate saw only 800 new job entrants (people who have not worked before) per month on average over the past year.

The state had three times that figure over the previous six years.

The number of re-entrants is also down, to 3,700 a month, from an average of 4,800 per month.

At the same time, the state has seen a sizableincrease in unemployment among men 65 and older.

Even though labor force participation rates for this group of males have been steady since 2013, at just over 21%, the jobless rate has jumped from 3.1 percent, during this post-recession period, with a low of 1.6 percent last year. Now, the rate has jumped to 5.8 percent, with 1,000 men over the age of 65 looking for work.

That change was not detected in national data, which saw the rate drop from 3.3 percent last year to 3.1 percent this year.

The Labor Department said that if the contrasting trends continue, employers may have to increase wages and males over 65 will have more job opportunities.

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