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News Release Information

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

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Unemployment in the Delmarva Peninsula by County – December 2015

All Counties' Unemployment Rates Lower than the Previous Year

In December, Worcester County, Md., had the highest unemployment rate on the Delmarva Peninsula at 13.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that 11 of the 14 Delmarva Peninsula counties had jobless rates higher than the 4.8-percent U.S. average. The remaining three counties had rates below the national average, with the lowest rate being 4.0 percent in Queen Anne’s, Md. (See chart 1 and chart 2. All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)

All 14 counties on the Delmarva Peninsula had unemployment rate decreases from December 2014 to December 2015. Eight counties had jobless rate decreases exceeding the national decline of 0.6 percentage point, with Accomack, Va., recording the largest rate decline at 1.3 points. Queen Anne’s, Md., matched the national decrease. The remaining counties had decreases ranging from 0.5 percentage point in Sussex, Del.; Cecil, Md.; and Talbot, Md. to 0.2 point in New Castle, Del. (See table A.)

Table A. Unemployment rates for the United States, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and counties on the Delmarva Peninsula, not seasonally adjusted
AreaUnemployment rateChange from
Dec 2013Dec 2014Dec 2015¹Dec 2013 to Dec 2015¹Dec 2014 to Dec 2015¹

United States



New Castle







Queen Anne's









¹ Data for Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and all counties are preliminary for the most recent month.

Jobless rates in all 14 Delmarva Peninsula counties in December 2015 were lower than their December 2013 levels. Four counties had jobless rates exceeding the national decline of 1.7 percentage points, with Northampton, Va., recording the largest rate decline at 2.8 points. The remaining unemployment rate declines since December 2013 ranged from 1.5 percentage points in Kent, Del.; Sussex, Del.; and Wicomico, Md. to 0.6 point in Talbot, Md.

The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for January is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 18, 2016, 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 23, 2016