Working in Delaware

Working in Delaware

Delaware sits on the northeastern section of the Delmarva Peninsula which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. Although it is the sixth least populous state at just under a million people, it is the sixth most dense per square mile.

There are only three counties: Kent, New Castle, and Sussex. New Castle is the most populous with over half of all Delawareans residing there. Most commerce takes place in New Castle, specifically in Wilmington. Kent and Sussex are primarily agricultural and beach communities.

Just about half of Delaware's residents are employed in non-farm jobs. The biggest gains in recent years have been in education and health care followed by transportation and utilities with government jobs in third place. Construction saw the biggest decrease with leisure and hospitality close behind.

DuPont is the largest, private employer in the state. The chemical company and other entities owned by the Du Pont families employ between an estimated 7-10% of Delaware residents.

There is no sales-tax on consumer purchases. Retailers are abundant as out-of-state shoppers flock to Delaware to take advantage. Businesses also benefit from Delaware's attractive tax laws with the majority of Fortune 500 companies incorporating here.

Other private employers include financial institutions such as Bank of America and Wilmington Trust. Like DuPont, pharmaceutical and chemical sectors are a boon to the state with AstraZeneca and Syngenta just two of many corporations operating here.

University of Delaware is located in Newark, 12 miles outside of Wilmington, with satellites statewide. Other institutions needing education professionals include Drexel University, Delaware State, and Widener. Health care is also thriving. DuPont Children's Hospital and Christiana Care Health System seek medical workers in all fields from practitioners to administrators. Both have locations all over Delaware. Approximately 3,000 doctors practice in Delaware.

The state capital of Dover is in Kent County. In the Dover metropolitan area, the unemployment rate hovers at 7.2 %. State government jobs aside, the Dover Air Force Base is one of the largest Air Force bases in the country and is a major employer in Delaware.

Sussex County is where the beaches line the Atlantic between Maryland and New Jersey. Delaware is nicknamed the "Nation's Summer Capital" because it is the most popular weekend getaway for Washingtonians.

The beach communities are experiencing rapid growth. Construction was furious in the early 2000s and overbuilding left many projects without buyers when the recession peaked. Still, home prices in some jurisdictions increased by over 500% in the decade spanning 1995-2005.

While restaurants, spas, and country clubs see a bit of commercial increase in vacation seasons, it is not nearly to the extent of Ocean City, Maryland to the south where businesses rely on summer tourists to get them through the virtually abandoned resort during the off-season.

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