About Delaware County...

Wages & Employment

Economic Trends

Delaware County’s unemployment rate has been consistently below average. The 2013 average rate for Delaware County was 5.1%, while the region was 6.2 percent, Ohio was 7.2% and the national average was 7.4%.

However, while all unemployment rates have declined since the recession, a major cause of the decline was the continuing dropping out of workers from the labor force. (When unemployed workers stop actively looking for work, they no longer affect the unemployment rate.) Analysis shows that the dropout from the Delaware County labor force was somewhat greater than average, which was part of the cause for the recent unemployment rate decline.

Annual Average Unemployment Rates, 1990-2013

Annual Average Unemployment Rates, 1990-2013

Source: Local Area Unemployment Statistics and Current Population Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Cumulative Employment Growth, Delaware County, Columbus Region, Ohio, and U.S., 2001-2012

Cumulative Employment Growth, Delaware County, Columbus Region, Ohio, and U.S., 2001-2012

Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The dominant industry sector in the Delaware County economy is the professional and business services sector, which accounts for 24% of county jobs, nearly twice the 13% share nationwide.

Per-Capita Income, Delaware County, Columbus Region, Ohio, and U.S., 1980-2012

Per-Capita Income, Delaware County, Columbus Region, Ohio, and U.S., 1980-2012

Source: Regional Economic Accounts, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Delaware County Per Capita Income (PCI) increased rapidly through the 1980s and 1990s.  However, PCI fell 13 percent between 2001 and 2005. The reasons for this decline are not entirely clear; resident employment was still growing strongly during this period.

The most likely explanation is that the population between the ages of 25 and 34 (who earn less than older workers) grew significantly faster than total population during this period and then shrank during the following five years. Consistent with Delaware County employment trends, PCI in simply leveled off during the 2007-2009 recession rather than declining as it did elsewhere.

Household Income, Delaware County, Columbus Region, Ohio, and U.S., 2010-2012

Household Income, Delaware County, Columbus Region, Ohio, and U.S., 2010-2012

Source: 2010-2012 American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau.

Household incomes in Delaware County are far higher than average. In Delaware County, 43% of households earn $100,000 per year or more, significantly higher than the 21.3% of households in the Columbus Region, 17.1% of Ohio households, and 21.6% of households nationwide. The median household income is $87,890 in Delaware County, $47,030 in Ohio, and $51,771 nationally.