Lakeland, FL – December 2023 Jobs Report – Growth amidst Seasonal Fluctuations

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Lakeland’s December 2023 jobs report paints a picture of moderate growth with seasonal influences. While the unemployment rate rose slightly compared to the previous year, job creation continued across various sectors.


  • Unemployment rate: 3.8%, up from 2.7% in December 2022 but lower than the state average of 2.9%. (Source: CareerSource Polk)
  • Job growth: Positive, with preliminary data showing an increase in the labor force. (Source: BLS)
  • Key growth sectors: Healthcare & Social Assistance, Retail Trade, Leisure & Hospitality. (Source: BLS)

Industries and Occupations that Grew:

  • Healthcare & Social Assistance: Added the most jobs, likely due to seasonal hiring in hospitals and nursing homes. (Source: BLS)
  • Retail Trade: Gained jobs in preparation for the holiday season. (Source: BLS)
  • Leisure & Hospitality: Saw an uptick in employment, potentially reflecting increased tourism activity. (Source: BLS)
  • Growing occupations: Registered Nurses, Retail Salespersons, Food Preparation and Serving Related Workers, Customer Service Representatives, Truck Drivers. (Source: BLS)

Industries and Occupations that Shrank:

  • Construction: Experienced a slight decline in employment, possibly due to the completion of seasonal projects. (Source: BLS)
  • Manufacturing: Shed a small number of jobs, potentially reflecting national trends. (Source: BLS)
  • Shrinking occupations: Construction Laborers, Electricians, Painters and Painting Contractors, Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Assemblers and Fabricators. (Source: BLS)

Comparison to Same Month Last Year:

  • Labor force: Grew by 1.8%. (Source: CareerSource Polk)
  • Unemployment rate: Increased by 1.1 percentage points. (Source: CareerSource Polk)
  • Job growth: Positive, though specific data unavailable due to BLS reporting schedule.

Comparison to Previous Month:

  • Labor force: Preliminary data suggests slight growth. (Source: BLS)
  • Unemployment rate: No comparable data available due to BLS reporting schedule.
  • Job growth: Specific data unavailable due to BLS reporting schedule.

Future Outlook:

The Lakeland job market is expected to see continued growth in 2024, driven by factors like population expansion, increasing tourism, and investments in healthcare and logistics. However, potential economic headwinds and rising interest rates could pose challenges.

10 Growing Occupations:

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Retail Salespersons
  3. Food Preparation and Serving Related Workers
  4. Customer Service Representatives
  5. Truck Drivers
  6. Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides
  7. Software Developers and Applications Developers
  8. Physician Assistants
  9. Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing
  10. Janitors and Cleaners

10 Companies Hiring Now:

  1. Publix Super Markets
  2. Watson Clinic
  3. Lakeland Regional Health
  4. Southeastern University
  5. Polk County Public Schools
  6. Amazon
  7. Walmart
  8. Lowe’s Home Improvement
  9. ADP
  10. JP Morgan Chase