DOVER, Del. (AP) — New unemployment figures show that Delaware is among the states still facing challenges in getting people back to work as the country rebounds from the economic effects of the coronavirus.
Figures released Thursday show that 5,679 initial unemployment claims were filed in Delaware for the week ending May 29. That’s down from 6,429 in the previous week, when Delaware had the largest increase of any state in the country in initial unemployment claims.
The number of initial claims filed in Delaware for the week ending May 22 was the highest since April 2020, when Delawareans were filing jobless claims in record-shattering numbers as businesses were shuttered. Initial unemployment filings for each of the past eight weeks are the highest since May 2020, with the exception of one week in December. The insured unemployment rate in Delaware for the week ending May 22 was the highest in more than two months.
Delaware’s overall unemployment rate in April was 6.4%, a decrease of 0.1% after four consecutive monthly increases.
Delaware’s April unemployment rate was higher than Maryland’s (6.2%) and Virginia’s (4.7%), but lower than New Jersey’s (7.5%) and Pennsylvania’s (7.4%).
Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment in Delaware was 444,300 in April, up from 444,100 in March. Since April 2020, total nonfarm jobs have increased by 44,800, or 11.3%, compared with a nationwide increase of 10.9%, but remain below the 465,300 reported in March 2020.
“Delaware’s economy is still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, and there’s more work to do. But we’ve added more than 45,000 jobs since the depth of the crisis last spring,” Jonathan Starkey, a spokesman for Democratic Gov. John Carney, said in an email Thursday. “With vaccination rates increasing every day, we expect Delaware will have a great summer and come out of this pandemic stronger than ever.”
Nationwide, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week for a fifth straight week to a new pandemic low, according to the Labor Department.