RELEASE: CRI - Center for Economic Policy and Analysis
RE: Jobs and Opportunity in Delaware
The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity publishes a Jobs and Opportunity Index (JOI) for all the states monthly. As of March of this year, Delaware ranks 50th among the states.
Three factors comprise the JOI: job outlook, freedom, and prosperity. To identify the reason for Delaware’s last place ranking on the JOI, each factor needs to be examined.
JOB OUTLOOK: This is a measure of optimism as to work opportunities in the current market. It is an indicator that people are either working or are reasonably optimistic that they will be able to find work if they look. It is calculated as the labor force size divided by three measures of unemployment. Delaware ranks a decent 21st on this factor.
FREEDOM: Freedom increases with employment and decreases with enrollment in welfare programs (i.e., Medicaid, SNAP, and TANF). Here Delaware’s rank falls to 40th.
PROSPERITY: This measure increases with personal income and decreases with state and local taxes. With slow growth in personal income (particularly total wages) and rising taxes, Delaware trails badly on this factor with a rank of 50th.
Delaware has ranked 50th on the JOI for the past six months.
No index measure is comprehensive, and that includes the JOI. Nevertheless, it is notable that Delaware’s weakness arises from a combination of growth in low wage jobs and in state and local taxes.
Dr. John E. Stapleford, Director
Center for Economic Policy and Analysis