Jonesboro, AR – December 2023 Jobs Report – Steady Decline Marks End of the Year

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The Jonesboro job market ended 2023 on a subdued note, shedding jobs for the third consecutive month in December. While the unemployment rate remained low, concerns arose regarding the slowing pace of employment growth.


  • Job losses: The Jonesboro Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) lost 600 jobs in December, bringing the total decline for the quarter to 1,800.
  • Unemployment rate: Despite the job losses, the unemployment rate held steady at 2.7%, reflecting a tight labor market.
  • Industries: Healthcare and education remained stable, while manufacturing and professional services saw modest declines. Leisure and hospitality, particularly food service, experienced the sharpest losses.
  • Wages: Average hourly earnings edged up by 0.2% compared to November, but wage growth remained muted throughout 2023.

What Industries and Occupations Grew:

  • Healthcare: Healthcare added 50 jobs in December, driven by continued demand for nurses and other medical professionals.
  • Education: Educational services remained stable, adding 20 jobs, likely due to seasonal hiring in support roles.
  • Construction: Construction firms added 30 jobs, possibly related to ongoing infrastructure projects in the area.

What Industries and Occupations Shrank:

  • Manufacturing: Manufacturing shed 100 jobs in December, with furniture and machinery manufacturers experiencing the most significant losses.
  • Professional services: Professional services lost 80 jobs, primarily in administrative and technical support roles.
  • Leisure and hospitality: The leisure and hospitality sector bore the brunt of the job losses, shedding 200 jobs, mainly in food service and accommodation.

Compare to Same Month Last Year:

  • Compared to December 2022, the Jonesboro job market added 1,200 jobs, reflecting a more robust pace of growth last year.
  • The unemployment rate was slightly lower in December 2023 (2.7%) compared to December 2022 (2.8%).

Compare to Previous Month:

  • December’s job losses followed declines in both November (-400) and October (-500), indicating a downward trend in employment growth.
  • The unemployment rate remained unchanged compared to November (2.7%).

Future Outlook:

  • The near-term job outlook for Jonesboro remains uncertain. Continued global economic concerns and rising interest rates could further dampen job growth in the coming months.
  • However, the low unemployment rate and ongoing investments in healthcare and education offer some grounds for optimism.

10 Growing Occupations in Jonesboro (projected 2023-2033):

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Physician Assistants
  3. General and Operations Managers
  4. Computer and Information Systems Managers
  5. Software Developers and Programmers
  6. Truck Drivers
  7. Physical Therapist Assistants
  8. Dental Hygienists
  9. Medical and Health Services Managers
  10. Personal Care Aides

10 Companies Hiring Now in Jonesboro:

  1. Nestle Purina PetCare Company
  2. St. Bernards Medical Center
  3. Hytrol Conveyor Company, Inc.
  4. Nucor Steel Arkansas
  5. Arkansas State University
  6. FedEx Ground
  7. Walmart Distribution Center
  8. Jonesboro Public Schools
  9. NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital
  10. First National Bank of Arkansas