The U.S. unemployment rate fell below 5.0% for the first time since the start of the recession. At 4.9%, the nation’s unemployment rate decreased from its peak at 10% in 2010. The Labor Department also announced yesterday that there were 5.6 million job openings in December, just shy of the all-time record of about 5.7 million set in July.
Good news, right? Well, the general consensus seems to be that we should celebrate progress but there is still work to be done.
An article from ABC news explains 3 reasons that people aren’t celebrating the new all-time low unemployment:
- Fewer adults are working
- Long-term unemployment is still high
- Wage growth is weak.
Where does Delaware stand with these three employment factors?
- The total number of employed residents in DE increased in December to 447,400, up from 444,700 in November and 431,700 last year. Delaware had the largest two-year employment gain in state history.
- Delaware’s long-term unemployment (unemployed who had been jobless for 27 weeks or longer) is 39.2%, which falls in the middle between the highest (D.C. at 49.2%) and lowest (North Dakota at 13.1%) in the country.
- Just last week, Delaware passed a bill to raise the minimum wage to $10.25 over four years. And while we don’t have more recent 2015 stats on DE wage growth yet, we know that from 2nd quarter 2014 to 2nd quarter 2015, Delaware’s 12 month percent change in average weekly wage was 1.5% (up $15).
So things look pretty good for Delaware, right? Let us know what you think in the comments below — is the Delaware employment situation good, bad, or somewhere in the middle.