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Center for Economic Policy & Analysis

Don't wager on Delaware's Economy

Dr. John E. Stapleford, Policy Director | 11/23/2020

Don't wager on Delaware's economy
Center for Economic Policy and Analysis
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles data on employment, wages, and establishments by industry for each state. The wage data for Delaware tells a dismal story.
 
Over the past ten years (2009-2019), total private industry wages in Delaware rose 40% compared to 55% across the U.S. The jobs generated in Delaware were disproportionately in lower-wage service industries.
 
Total Delaware wages in high paying Goods Producing industries (mining, construction, manufacturing) rose 25% over the ten years while the nation jumped 46% in the nation. Total wages in Delaware’s Service Producing industries rose 43% compared to 57% for the nation.
 
Take a look at the change in the average private industry wage. Over the past decade, the average private wage in Delaware increased by 23% compared to 31% across the nation.
 
The average private industry wage in Delaware not only failed to keep pace with inflation, but it also went from above the U.S. average in 2009 ($47,365 vs. $45,155) to below the U.S. average in 2019 ($58,406 vs. $59,202).
 
Earned wages are the major component of personal income. The poor performance of Delaware’s wages during the last ten years helps explain why Delaware's per capita personal income has gone from above to below the national average.
 
With $16/hr - $17/hr jobs being added at Amazon, the Delaware economic outlook continues to trend downward.


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