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News Release Information

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

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Unemployment on the Delmarva Peninsula by County – December 2017

Unemployment Rates in Nine Counties Declined Over the Year

In December, Worcester County, MD, had the highest unemployment rate on the Delmarva Peninsula at 12.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that 10 of the 14 Delmarva Peninsula counties had jobless rates higher than the 3.9-percent U.S. average. Caroline County, MD, had a jobless rate (3.9 percent) that matched the nation’s. Among the three counties with rates below the national average, Queen Anne’s County, MD, had the lowest, at 3.3 percent. (See chart1 and chart 2. All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)

Nine of the 14 counties on the Delmarva Peninsula had unemployment rate decreases from December 2016 to December 2017. (See table A.) Matching the national over-the-year decline of -0.6 percentage point, Caroline County, MD, had the largest decrease in the area. The remaining over-the-year unemployment rate declines ranged from -0.3 percentage point in three counties—Cecil, MD; Dorchester, MD; and Wicomico, MD—to -0.1 point in three other counties—Kent, MD; Queen Anne’s, MD; and Accomack, VA. All three Delaware counties, as well as Northampton, VA, had unemployment rate increases of 0.2 point or 0.4 point.

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

Unemployment rates
Change from
Dec 2015
Dec 2017(1)
Dec 2016
Dec 2017(1)

United States

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Go to web page with historical data for series LAUST100000000000003


Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN100010000000003

New Castle

Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN100030000000003


Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN100050000000003


Go to web page with historical data for series LAUST240000000000003


Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN240110000000003


Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN240150000000003


Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN240190000000003


Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN240290000000003

Queen Anne's

Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN240350000000003


Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN240390000000003


Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN240410000000003


Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN240450000000003


Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN240470000000003


Go to web page with historical data for series LAUST510000000000003


Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN510010000000003


Go to web page with historical data for series LAUCN511310000000003

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

Jobless rates in 12 Delmarva Peninsula counties in December 2017 were lower than in December 2015.  Two-year jobless rate decreases were highest in the three Maryland counties of Somerset (-1.1 points), Worcester (-1.1 points), and Caroline (-1.0 point). Two other Maryland counties—Cecil and Dorchester—matched the national decline of -0.9 percentage point. Two counties had jobless rate increases from December 2015 to December 2017—Northampton, VA, at 0.2 point, and Sussex, DE, at 0.1 point.

The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for January is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 16, 2018, 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 counties are developed through a building-block approach and adjusted proportionally to state model-based totals. For multi-county areas, such as the metropolitan areas and metropolitan divisions delineated by the Office of Management and Budget, estimates are summed from the data for their component counties. Estimates for cities and towns 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.

  Chart 2. Unemployment rates for counties on the Delmarva Peninsula, not seasonally adjusted, December 2017


Last Modified Date: Wednesday, February 28, 2018