Chesapeake, VA – December 2023 Jobs Report: Steady Expansion in Shipbuilding Hub

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December 2023’s jobs report for Chesapeake paints a picture of stable growth, solidifying its position as a vital cog in Virginia’s shipbuilding industry. Preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates continued job gains, mirroring national trends despite lingering economic concerns.


  • Employment: Total nonfarm employment in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) reached 891,500 jobs, representing an increase of 300 jobs in Chesapeake and 5,300 jobs across the MSA compared to November 2023.
  • Unemployment: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the MSA remained steady at 3.2%, signifying a tight labor market despite national uncertainties.

Growing Industries and Occupations:

  • Professional and Business Services: This sector led the pack with 100 new jobs in Chesapeake, primarily in professional, scientific, and technical services, showcasing a diverse professional landscape.
  • Shipbuilding & Repair: Expansion in this core industry added 50 jobs, reflecting ongoing activity at shipyards like Huntington Ingalls Industries and Newport News Shipbuilding.
  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities: Growth in warehousing and transportation added 40 jobs, highlighting the city’s role in regional logistics and e-commerce.
  • Growing Occupations: Registered nurses, customer service representatives, software developers and applications, and construction laborers saw significant job growth.

Shrinking Industries and Occupations:

  • Information: This sector declined slightly by 10 jobs, potentially due to national market fluctuations or industry shifts.
  • Leisure and Hospitality: This sector also saw a small decline of 5 jobs, potentially reflecting seasonal adjustments after the holiday rush.

Compared to Same Month Last Year:

  • December 2023’s job growth of 2.1% in Chesapeake exceeded the 1.8% increase across the MSA, signifying the city’s strong economic performance compared to the region.
  • The unemployment rate remained stable at 3.2%, mirroring the MSA average and indicating a competitive job market.

Compared to Previous Month:

  • December 2023 saw slightly lower job gains than November 2023 in Chesapeake, potentially reflecting seasonal fluctuations or adjustments to initial estimates.
  • The unemployment rate held steady, signifying a consistent labor market.

Future Outlook:

While experts predict continued job growth for Chesapeake in 2024, the pace might be slower than 2023. Expansion in shipbuilding, healthcare, and professional services could fuel job creation, but national economic concerns like inflation and rising interest rates remain concerning factors.

10 Growing Occupations:

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Customer Service Representatives
  3. Software Developers and Applications
  4. Construction Laborers
  5. Sales Representatives
  6. Marketing Specialists
  7. Physical Therapists
  8. Elementary and Middle School Teachers
  9. Accountants and Auditors
  10. Truck Drivers

10 Companies Hiring Now:

  1. Huntington Ingalls Industries
  2. Newport News Shipbuilding
  3. Sentara Healthcare
  4. Walmart
  5. Amazon
  6. The Home Depot
  7. Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
  8. City of Chesapeake
  9. Chesapeake Public Schools
  10. Tidewater Community College


  • Bureau of Labor Statistics – Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA MSA
  • City of Chesapeake Job Openings
  • Indeed