Des Moines, IA – December 2023 Jobs Report – Steady Gains Point to a Promising Future

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December 2023 brought positive news for Des Moines’ job market, with steady employment growth and a declining unemployment rate. While final, seasonally adjusted data isn’t available yet, preliminary figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) paint a picture of a resilient economy poised for continued expansion.


  • Employment: Total employment in the Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) reached 409,300, representing an increase of 1,200 jobs from November 2023 and 4,200 jobs from December 2022.
  • Unemployment: The unemployment rate dropped to 3.2%, indicating a tight labor market compared to 3.8% in November 2023 and 4.1% in December 2022.

Growing Industries and Occupations:

  • Professional and Business Services: This sector led the pack with 500 new jobs, driven by growth in professional, scientific, and technical services occupations.
  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities: Employment jumped by 300 jobs, boosted by gains in transportation and warehousing positions.
  • Leisure and Hospitality: Restaurants and hotels added 200 jobs, reflecting recovering tourism and consumer spending.
  • Education and Health Services: This sector added 100 jobs, primarily in healthcare support occupations.

Shrinking Industries and Occupations:

  • Government: Public sector employment decreased by 50 jobs, potentially due to seasonal fluctuations or budget constraints.
  • Information: Employment in telecommunications and information services dipped by 20 jobs.

Compared to Same Month Last Year:

  • Total employment is up by 4,200 jobs compared to December 2022, representing a 1.0% increase.
  • The unemployment rate has improved significantly, dropping from 4.1% to 3.2%, reflecting a tighter labor market.

Compared to Previous Month:

  • November 2023 saw minimal job gains, while December 2023 witnessed a more pronounced increase, suggesting a potential acceleration in hiring activity.
  • The unemployment rate declined from 3.8% in November, further solidifying the trend of a strengthening labor market.

Future Outlook:

Economists predict continued job growth for Des Moines in 2024, fueled by ongoing expansion in agriculture, insurance, and healthcare sectors. However, potential headwinds such as rising interest rates and inflation could impact hiring activity.

10 Growing Occupations:

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Software Developers and Applications
  3. Customer Service Representatives
  4. Financial Analysts
  5. Marketing Specialists
  6. Sales Representatives
  7. Truck Drivers
  8. Elementary and Middle School Teachers
  9. Accounting and Bookkeeping Clerks
  10. Construction Laborers

10 Companies Hiring Now:

  1. Wells Fargo
  2. Principal Financial Group
  3. MercyOne Des Moines
  4. Hy-Vee, Inc.
  5. UnityPoint Health – Des Moines
  6. Kemin Industries
  7. John Deere Des Moines Works
  8. The Principal Charity Classic
  9. Novation Companies
  10. Kum & Go