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Tuesday, February 17, 2015


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Unemployment on the Delmarva Peninsula by County – December 2014

Most Counties’ Unemployment Rates Lower than the Previous Year

In December, Worcester County, Md., had the highest unemployment rate on the Delmarva Peninsula at 14.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that 9 of the 14 Delmarva Peninsula counties had jobless rates greater than the 5.4-percent U.S. average. One county, Cecil, Md., had a jobless rate equal to the U.S. average. The remaining four counties had rates below the national average, with the lowest rate being 4.4 percent in New Castle, Del. (See chart 1 and chart 2. All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)


Ten counties on the Delmarva Peninsula had unemployment rate decreases from December 2013 to December 2014. Four counties, led by Kent and New Castle counties in Delaware (at -1.3 percentage points each) had rate decreases exceeding the national decline of 1.1 percentage points. Northampton, Va., had a rate decrease equal to the U.S. rate decrease. The remaining five counties had decreases much lower than the national decline. Four counties on the Delmarva Peninsula had unemployment rates increases, with Worcester, Md., having the highest increase, up 0.3 percentage point. (See table A.)

Table A. Unemployment rates for the United States, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and counties on the Delmarva Peninsula, not seasonally adjusted

Unemployment rates
Change from
2014 (1)
Dec 2012
Dec 2014 (1)
Dec 2013
Dec 2014 (1)

United States

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7.6 6.5 5.4 -2.2 -1.1


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6.8 5.9 4.6 -2.2 -1.3


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6.9 5.9 4.6 -2.3 -1.3

New Castle

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6.5 5.7 4.4 -2.1 -1.3


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7.7 6.3 5.1 -2.6 -1.2


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6.7 5.6 5.3 -1.4 -0.3


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8.0 6.7 6.4 -1.6 -0.3


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8.2 6.6 5.4 -2.8 -1.2


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10.9 8.8 8.5 -2.4 -0.3


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7.1 6.2 6.3 -0.8 0.1

Queen Anne's

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5.9 5.0 4.8 -1.1 -0.2


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10.3 8.2 8.4 -1.9 0.2


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7.7 5.8 6.0 -1.7 0.2


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9.0 7.7 7.4 -1.6 -0.3


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16.0 14.2 14.5 -1.5 0.3


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5.6 4.8 4.5 -1.1 -0.3


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7.0 6.1 6.0 -1.0 -0.1


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9.4 7.5 6.4 -3.0 -1.1

(1) Data for Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and counties on the Delmarva Peninsula are preliminary for the most recent month.

Jobless rates in all 14 Delmarva Peninsula counties in December 2014 were lower than their December 2012 levels. The decreases in five counties exceeded the national decline of 2.2 points, with Northampton, Va., having the largest decline at 3.0 percentage points. The remaining unemployment rate declines since December 2012 ranged from 2.1 percentage points in New Castle, Del., to 0.8 point in Kent, Del.

The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for January is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 20, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

Technical Note

This release presents unemployment rate data for states and counties from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program, a federal-state cooperative endeavor.

Definitions. The labor force and unemployment data are based on the same concepts and definitions as those used for the official national estimates obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a sample survey of households that is conducted for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the U.S. Census Bureau. The LAUS program measures employment and unemployment on a place-of-residence basis. The universe for each is the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and over. Employed persons are those who did any work at all for pay or profit in the reference week (the week including the 12th of the month) or worked 15 hours or more without pay in a family business or farm, plus those not working who had a job from which they were temporarily absent, whether or not paid, for such reasons as labor-management dispute, illness, or vacation. Unemployed persons are those who were not employed during the reference week (based on the definition above), had actively looked for a job sometime in the 4-week period ending with the reference week, and were currently available for work; persons on layoff expecting recall need not be looking for work to be counted as unemployed. The labor force is the sum of employed and unemployed persons. The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed as a percent of the labor force.

Methods of Estimation. The LAUS program is a hierarchy of non-survey methodologies for indirectly estimating employment and unemployment in states and local areas. Statewide data are produced through a modeling technique that uses estimates of payroll jobs from the Current Employment Statistics survey and unemployment insurance claims counts from the state workforce agencies to mitigate volatility in the direct CPS tabulations of employment and unemployment, respectively. Data for labor market areas, such as metropolitan areas and metropolitan divisions, are produced through a building block approach and adjusted proportionally to state model-based totals. Data for counties within labor market areas are produced through a disaggregation technique. A detailed description of the LAUS estimation procedures is available in chapter 4 of the BLS Handbook of Methods at

Annual revisions. Labor force and unemployment data for prior years reflect adjustments made at the end of each year, usually implemented with January estimates.  The adjusted estimates reflect updated population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, any revisions in the other data sources, and model reestimation. All substate estimates are reestimated and adjusted to add to the revised model-based estimates.

The Delmarva Peninsula, located on the east coast of the United States, comprises Delaware and portions of Maryland and Virginia.  The Delmarva Peninsula includes Kent, New Castle, and Sussex Counties in Delaware; Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties in Maryland; and Accomack and Northampton Counties in Virginia. 

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request.  Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.




Last Modified Date: Tuesday, February 17, 2015