Durham, NC – December 2023 Jobs Report – Bullish Signs Amidst National Slowdown

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December 2023 marked a positive note for the Durham job market, defying national trends of slowing growth. The unemployment rate dropped to 2.8%, the lowest recorded for the region since data collection began, while employment remained relatively stable compared to November. Key industries like healthcare and technology continued their upward trajectory, offering promising opportunities for job seekers.


  • Unemployment rate: 2.8%, the lowest on record (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Job growth: Modest compared to November, but positive year-over-year (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Key growth industries: Healthcare, technology, professional & business services (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

What Industries and Occupations Grew:

  • Healthcare: Added 800 jobs, driven by demand for nurses, physicians, and home health aides (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Technology: Gained 500 jobs, with software developers, IT specialists, and cybersecurity professionals in high demand (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Professional & Business Services: Saw an increase of 400 jobs, particularly in management consulting, marketing, and accounting (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

What Industries and Occupations Shrank:

  • Retail: Lost 200 jobs, primarily in sales and customer service positions (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Leisure & Hospitality: Declined by 100 jobs, mainly in food service and accommodation sectors (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Compare to Same Month Last Year:

  • Unemployment rate improved significantly compared to December 2022 (3.2%) (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Job growth remained steady year-over-year, indicating relative stability (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Compare to Previous Month:

  • Unemployment rate dropped from 3.2% in November 2023 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Job growth saw a slight slowdown compared to November (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Future Outlook:

The Durham job market is expected to maintain its positive momentum in 2024, driven by continued expansion in healthcare, technology, and professional services. However, national economic headwinds and potential interest rate hikes could pose challenges to sustained growth.

10 Growing Occupations in Durham:

  1. Registered Nurse
  2. Software Developer
  3. Physician Assistant
  4. Marketing Specialist
  5. Customer Service Representative
  6. Management Consultant
  7. Financial Analyst
  8. Accountant
  9. Cybersecurity Analyst
  10. Home Health Aide

10 Companies Hiring Now in Durham:

  1. Duke University
  2. UNC Health
  3. RTI International
  4. IBM
  5. Google
  6. Meta
  7. Apple
  8. Credit Suisse
  9. Bank of America
  10. Wells Fargo