Delaware saw a modest increase in the weekly report on the number of people filing initial unemployment claims.
The report from the U.S. Department of Labor indicated that about 5,400 Delawareans filed initial jobless claims in the previous week, compared to nearly 5,200 a week earlier. The weekly volume of new claims had been declining.
The number of people now receiving unemployment compensation rose to more than 58,000. That roughly translates to a 12 percent-plus unadjusted jobless rate based on previous figures on the state’s total workforce.
Analysts have said the actual employment figures are far higher as claims move through the system that has struggled with heavy call volumes and glitches that include inaccurate information from employers and employees.
Also in the mix is a new system that offers unemployment benefits for the self-employed who cannot work, due to the coronavirus crisis. The Payroll Protection Program, a federal loan-grant has also kept some people on payrolls.
The U.S. Labor Department reported the advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 15.7 percent during the week ending May 9, an increase of 1.4 percentage points from the prior week.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending May 2 were in Nevada (23.5), Michigan (22.6), Washington (22.1), Rhode Island (19.9), New York (19.6), Connecticut (19.3), Puerto Rico (19.2), Mississippi (18.8), Vermont (18.8), and Georgia (18.5).
The 12 percent Delaware figure is above the peak reported during the financial crisis that led to a jobless rate above 10 percent.
Nationwide, during the week ending May 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 2,438,000, a decrease of 249,000 from the previous week’s revised level.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured national unemployment rate was 17.2 percent for the week ending May 9, an increase of 1.7 percentage points from the previous week’s revised rate.
Delaware is seeing a gradual reopening of businesses, with retail stores and restaurants slated to open at 30 percent capacity on June 1.
The state’s hotel industry is still be limited to essential and business travelers, with industry representatives pressing for their rooms to be available to leisure travelers as the summer tourist season gets underway.
The Delaware Department did not comment in space provided in the report on trends regarding employment and unemployment but did release the chart above regarding claims.