Delaware jobless rate up slightly as signs of slowdown appear

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Delaware’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in July 2019 was 3.3 percent, up from 3.2 percent in June.

The increase, while statistically insignificant, according to the Delaware Department of Labor comes amid signs that job growth is slowing.

Department of Labor reported 16,000 unemployed Delawareans in July compared to 18,000 in July 2018.

In July 2019, seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment was 463,700, down from 464,600 in June 2019. Since July 2018, Delaware’s total nonfarm jobs have increased by 3,700, an increase of 0.8 percent. Nationally, jobs during that period increased by 1.5 percent.

Despite the uptick, Delaware has a lower jobless rate than its neighbors. (See table at bottom of post).

Construction, education and health are showing the strongest job gains, while businesses services and retailing are showing losses. The retail sector continues to be hit by chains announcing closing plans, the latest being Avenue, a women’s plus-size retailer.

Delaware Nonfarm Employment

INDUSTRY GROUP

July 2019

June 2019

Over Month Change

Over Year Change

TOTAL NONAG. EMP.

463.7

464.6

-0.9

3.7

CONSTRUCTION

23.1

23.2

-0.1

1.2

MANUFACTURING

27.7

27.7

0.0

0.7

Durable Goods

9.8

9.7

0.1

0.3

Nondurable Goods

17.9

18.0

-0.1

0.4

TRADE, TRANSP., UTILiTIES

78.6

78.8

-0.2

-1.1

Wholesale Trade

11.2

11.2

0.0

0.4

Retail Trade

51.5

51.8

-0.3

-1.1

Transp. & Utilities

15.9

15.8

0.1

-0.4

INFORMATION

4.0

3.9

0.1

0.0

FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES

47.9

47.7

0.2

0.5

PROF. & BUS. SERVICES

61.9

62.4

-0.5

-2.2

EDUCATION & HEALTH

82.2

82.1

0.1

2.2

LEISURE & HOSPITALITY

52.1

52.3

-0.2

1.6

OTHER SERVICES

18.3

18.9

-0.6

-0.2

GOVERNMENT

67.9

67.6

0.3

1.0

Federal Government

5.8

5.8

0.0

0.1

State Government

33.2

33.1

0.1

-0.5

Local Government

28.9

28.7

0.2

1.4

It was the first time in a year that jobless rate had risen, the Labor Department noted in its monthly commentary.

Signs that a slowdown is underway coming from the Current Employment Statistics survey of business establishments in the state.

Employment, unemployment

July 2019

June 2019

July 2018

Civilian Labor Force

489,000

488,800

482,900

Employed

473,000

473,100

464,900

Unemployed

16,000

15,700

18,000

Unemployment Rate %

3.3

3.2

3.7

US Unemployment Rate %

3.7

3.7

3.9

While jobs under that measurement are up by 3,700 over the past 12 months, all of the gains came last year.

Since December, the number of jobs has dropped by 500. A similar change can be seen at the national level, where job growth averaging 218,000 per month the last five months of 2018 has slowed to 141,000 per month since January.

The state noted that slower national growth is even more apparent in the household survey data.

The number of employed people is up by 1,324,000 in the US over the past 12 months, but only by 343,000 since December, dropping monthly employment growth by more than half.

The slowdown has notshown up in the Delaware household numbers, where employment is up by 8,100 in the last 12 months, and by 6,800 since December.

While the survey-based numbers are subject to error, only the Delaware household numbers appear to an anomaly, the state Labor Department noted.

One factor not mentioned by the Labor Department is a shortage of workers in some sectors of the economy. (See unemployment rates by state below, courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

State
July 2019(P)
rate
Rank
Vermont
2.1
1
North Dakota
2.4
2
Iowa
2.5
3
New Hampshire
2.5
3
Hawaii
2.8
5
Utah
2.8
5
Colorado
2.9
7
Idaho
2.9
7
Massachusetts
2.9
7
South Dakota
2.9
7
Virginia
2.9
7
Maine
3.0
12
Wisconsin
3.0
12
Nebraska
3.1
14
Oklahoma
3.2
15
Alabama
3.3
16
Delaware
3.3
16
Florida
3.3
16
Kansas
3.3
16
Missouri
3.3
16
New Jersey
3.3
16
Arkansas
3.4
22
Indiana
3.4
22
Minnesota
3.4
22
Montana
3.4
22
South Carolina
3.4
22
Texas
3.4
22
Rhode Island
3.5
28
Tennessee
3.5
28
Connecticut
3.6
30
Georgia
3.6
30
Wyoming
3.6
30
Maryland
3.8
33
Pennsylvania
3.9
34
New York
4.0
35
Ohio
4.0
35
Oregon
4.0
35
California
4.1
38
Nevada
4.1
38
Illinois
4.2
40
North Carolina
4.2
40
Kentucky
4.3
42
Louisiana
4.3
42
Michigan
4.3
42
Washington
4.6
45
West Virginia
4.7
46
Arizona
4.9
47
New Mexico
4.9
47
Mississippi
5.1
49
District of Columbia
5.6
50
Alaska
6.3 51
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