Columbia, MO – December 2023 Jobs Report – Steady Growth Continues with Private Sector Gains

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December 2023 saw Columbia’s job market maintain its positive momentum, mirroring statewide trends. While unemployment edged up slightly, overall nonfarm payroll employment increased, driven by private sector gains. Specific industries and occupations experienced growth, offering promising opportunities for job seekers.


  • Unemployment rate: 3.3%, up 0.1% from November but lower than the national average of 3.7% 
  • Nonfarm payroll employment: 161,900 jobs, an increase of 500 from November 
  • Private sector: Added 800 jobs, while government employment remained stable 

What Industries and Occupations Grew:

What Industries and Occupations Shrunk:

  • Manufacturing: Lost 200 jobs, potentially indicating ongoing national trends in the sector.
  • Information: Shed 100 jobs, reflecting wider industry shifts and automation.

Compare to Same Month Last Year:

  • Unemployment rate: Lower than December 2022 by 0.6%, indicating a tighter labor market [1].
  • Nonfarm payroll employment: Increased by 3,500 jobs compared to December 2022, signifying positive growth 
  • Compare to Previous Month:
  • Unemployment rate: Inched up slightly by 0.1% from November [1].
  • Nonfarm payroll employment: Grew by 500 jobs compared to November, suggesting sustained momentum

Future Outlook:

The Columbia job market is expected to maintain its stability in the coming months. Continued growth in professional and business services, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality is anticipated. However, potential manufacturing slowdowns and national economic uncertainties could impact future trends.

10 Growing Occupations:

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Software Developers and Applications Developers
  3. Personal Care Aides
  4. Sales Representatives
  5. Customer Service Representatives
  6. Marketing Specialists
  7. Elementary School Teachers
  8. Truck Drivers
  9. Accountants and Auditors
  10. Physician Assistants

10 Companies Hiring Now:

  1. MU Health Care
  2. Boone Hospital Center
  3. University of Missouri
  4. City of Columbia
  5. Columbia Public Schools
  6. Shelter Insurance
  7. Veterans United Home Loans
  8. General Electric
  9. Carfax
  10. Hy-Vee