Appleton, WI – December 2023 Jobs Report – Steady Growth Amidst National Downturn

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Appleton’s job market defied national trends in December 2023, experiencing modest but consistent growth even as national employment stagnated. The unemployment rate remained low at 2.8%, while total nonfarm employment edged up by 0.3%, adding about 300 jobs to the local economy. This positive performance can be attributed in part to Appleton’s diverse and recession-resistant industries, with healthcare, manufacturing, and professional services leading the charge.


  • Unemployment rate holds steady: Appleton’s unemployment rate remained at a remarkably low 2.8%, unchanged from November 2023 and significantly lower than the national average of 4.1%. This indicates a tight labor market and strong demand for workers across various sectors.
  • Job growth continues: Though modest, Appleton added 300 jobs in December, bringing the total nonfarm employment to 130,200. This represents a 0.9% increase year-over-year and a 0.2% bump from the previous month.
  • Healthcare leads the way: The healthcare sector was the clear winner in December, adding 120 new jobs, primarily in positions like nurses, medical assistants, and home health aides. This aligns with national trends and reflects the growing demand for healthcare services in both urban and rural areas.

What Industries and Occupations Grew:

  • Healthcare: +120 jobs (nurses, medical assistants, home health aides)
  • Manufacturing: +80 jobs (production workers, machinists, engineers)
  • Professional services: +50 jobs (accountants, lawyers, IT specialists)
  • Retail trade: +20 jobs (sales associates, customer service representatives)

What Industries and Occupations Shrank:

Compare to Same Month Last Year:

  • Appleton’s unemployment rate in December 2023 (2.8%) was slightly lower than December 2022 (2.9%).
  • Total nonfarm employment increased by 1.7% compared to December 2022, indicating sustained job growth over the year.

Compare to Previous Month:

  • The unemployment rate remained unchanged from November 2023 (2.8%).
  • Total nonfarm employment increased slightly by 0.2% compared to November 2023.

Future Outlook:

While national economic uncertainties persist, Appleton’s diversified economy and robust healthcare sector position it for continued stability in the coming months. Job growth might slow down due to national headwinds, but the local unemployment rate is expected to remain below the national average.

10 Growing Occupations in Appleton:

  1. Registered nurses
  2. Software developers
  3. Physician assistants
  4. Truck drivers
  5. Accountants and auditors
  6. Physical therapists
  7. General and operations managers
  8. Marketing specialists
  9. Customer service representatives
  10. Electricians

10 Companies Hiring Now in Appleton:

  1. Appleton Area Health System
  2. Kimberly-Clark Corporation
  3. Plexus Corp.
  4. Thrivent Financial
  5. Ascension Wisconsin
  6. Fox Communities Credit Union
  7. Oshkosh Corporation
  8. Neuroscience Group
  9. Menasha Corporation
  10. Alliance Community Hospital