The unemployment rate in Delaware inched up in August – rising from 6.8 percent in July to 6.9 percent. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 30 thousand Delawareans were out of a job last month, a slight increase from July. But that’s about 24 hundred less than this time a year ago when unemployment was at 7.4 percent.
“I think what it looks like is we’ve hit another soft patch in the economy,” said Dr. George Sharpley, Chief Economist for the state’s Office of Occupational & Labor Market Information. “It happened last summer as well. Last year the economy rebounded very strongly in the fourth quarter. Of course, everybody hopes that is the case but there’s no saying right now what’s going to happen.”
Sussex County holds the state’s lowest rate at 6 percent, though Sharpley says he expects that to rise, as it does every year, with the end of the tourist season.
Kent County has the state’s highest proportion of unemployed – 7.6 percent of the workforce. That includes the city of Dover which had an unemployment rate of more than 8 and a half percent last month. The only city faring worse is Wilmington with a 10.8 percent unemployment rate.
Sharply points out that Delaware’s unemployment rate is still well below the national average which for August 2012 was 8.1 percent.