Iowa City, IA – December 2023 Jobs Report – Job Market Holds Steady amid Holiday Rush


The Hawkeye capital’s job market maintained its stable course in December 2023, weathering the usual holiday hiring fluctuations. While year-over-year growth remained flat, the month-to-month increase hinted at potential momentum heading into 2024.


  • The unemployment rate dipped slightly to 3.2%, the lowest recorded level in the past six months.
  • Total non-farm employment edged up by 0.2%, adding 150 jobs to the local economy.
  • Leisure and hospitality stood out with robust growth, adding 180 jobs, likely fueled by the holiday season rush.
  • Healthcare and education also contributed positively, adding 70 and 50 jobs respectively.
  • On the downside, construction and manufacturing shed jobs, losing 80 and 30 positions respectively.

Industries and Occupations on the Rise:

  • Leisure and hospitality led the charge, with gains in food service and drinking establishments (+130) and accommodation (+50).
  • Healthcare saw growth in ambulatory healthcare services (+40) and hospitals (+30).
  • Education benefited from increased staffing in colleges and universities (+30) and elementary and secondary schools (+20).
  • Information technology added 20 new positions, showcasing continued demand for tech talent.

Industries and Occupations Facing Downturns:

  • Construction witnessed losses in specialty trade contractors (-40) and heavy construction (-40).
  • Manufacturing shed jobs in durable goods manufacturing (-20) and nondurable goods manufacturing (-10).
  • Retail trade saw a slight decline (-10), primarily in clothing and accessories stores.

Comparing to Past Periods:

  • Compared to December 2022, Iowa City’s job market remained stagnant, with total non-farm employment virtually unchanged.
  • On a month-to-month basis, however, December 2023 saw a modest improvement compared to the flat growth in November 2023.

Future Outlook:

While cautious optimism hangs in the air, uncertainties like global economic fluctuations and potential interest rate hikes cloud the forecast. The healthcare, education, and technology sectors are expected to remain bright spots, while construction and manufacturing might face continued challenges.

10 Growing Occupations in Iowa City (December 2023):

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Software Developers
  3. Elementary and Middle School Teachers
  4. General and Operations Managers
  5. Physician Assistants
  6. Customer Service Representatives
  7. Truck Drivers
  8. Accounting and Auditing Clerks
  9. Marketing Specialists
  10. Physical Therapist Assistants

10 Companies Hiring Now in Iowa City (December 2023):

  1. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
  2. Rockwell Collins
  3. West Liberty Foods
  4. Mercy Iowa City
  5. MidWestOne Bank
  6. Kwik Star
  7. Hy-Vee
  8. Pearson
  9. Hills Bank
  10. ACT, Inc.