Davenport, IA – December 2023 Jobs Report: Employment Momentum Cools, But Future Looks Promising

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The Davenport-Moline-Rock Island Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) witnessed a slight slowdown in its job market in December 2023, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While the unemployment rate dipped to a record low, job gains were muted compared to previous months.


  • Unemployment rate: The unemployment rate dropped to 3.7% in December, the lowest level recorded since the data started being tracked in 1990. This represents a significant improvement from December 2022, when the rate stood at 4.9%.
  • Job growth: Nonfarm jobs increased by 100 in December, compared to an average of 500 per month in the previous three months. This translates to a meager 0.05% monthly growth rate.
  • Wage growth: Average wages held steady at $24.23 per hour, representing a 3.4% increase year-over-year.

What Industries and Occupations Grew:

  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities: This sector added 200 jobs in December, primarily in transportation and warehousing.
  • Education and Health Services: This sector gained 100 jobs, driven by growth in ambulatory healthcare services.
  • Registered Nurses: This occupation saw the highest numerical job growth (+30), followed by Retail Salespersons (+20).

What Industries and Occupations Shrank:

  • Manufacturing: The manufacturing sector shed 50 jobs, primarily in durable goods production.
  • Mining, Logging, and Construction: This sector lost 20 jobs, mainly in construction.
  • Production Workers: This occupation group experienced the largest numerical job decline (-40), followed by Office and Administrative Support Occupations (-20).

Compare to Same Month Last Year:

  • Overall employment in the Davenport MSA is up 1.2% compared to December 2022.
  • The unemployment rate has decreased by 1.2 percentage points over the year.
  • Average wages have grown by 4.2% year-over-year.

Compare to Previous Month:

  • Job growth slowed down significantly compared to November 2023, when the MSA added 400 jobs.
  • The unemployment rate remained unchanged from the previous month.
  • Average wages were also flat compared to November.

Future Outlook:

While the December jobs report indicates a cooling off in the job market, experts believe the long-term outlook for Davenport remains positive. The region’s strategic location, diverse economy, and relatively low cost of living continue to attract businesses and residents. The Federal Reserve’s recent interest rate hikes could dampen economic activity in the near term, but the impact is expected to be moderate.

10 Growing Occupations in Davenport, IA:

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Home Health and Personal Care Aides
  3. Software Developers and Applications Developers
  4. Truck DriversHeavy and Tractor-Trailer
  5. Customer Service Representatives
  6. Sales RepresentativesWholesale and Manufacturing
  7. Physical Therapists
  8. Physician Assistants
  9. Marketing Specialists
  10. Elementary School Teachers

10 Companies Hiring Now in Davenport, IA:

  1. Deere & Company
  2. Genesis Health System
  3. Palmer College of Chiropractic
  4. Arconic
  5. HON Company
  6. Genesis Medical Center, Davenport
  7. UnityPoint Health – Trinity Rock Island
  8. Kemin Industries
  9. Lee County Health Department
  10. City of Davenport