Lawrence, KS – December 2023 Jobs Report – Robust Job Growth Caps Stellar Year

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Lawrence’s job market ended 2023 on a high note, adding a significant 7,100 jobs in December and pushing the unemployment rate down to a record low of 2.8%. This impressive performance caps a year of exceptional job creation, with total nonfarm employment surging 8.3% compared to December 2022.


  • Job gains widespread: Nearly all major industry sectors contributed to December’s job growth, highlighting the broad-based strength of the Lawrence economy.
  • Healthcare leads the charge: The healthcare sector added the most jobs in December, followed by professional and business services, and education and government.
  • Leisure and hospitality rebounds: After facing challenges earlier in the year, the leisure and hospitality sector added jobs in December, indicating a potential recovery in tourism and dining.

What Industries and Occupations Grew:

  • Healthcare: Hospitals, medical and dental offices, and home healthcare services all added jobs in December.
  • Professional and business services: Management consulting, accounting, and legal services firms contributed to job growth.
  • Education and government: Public schools, universities, and local government agencies added positions in December.
  • Leisure and hospitality: Restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues saw an uptick in hiring in December.

What Industries and Occupations Shrank:

  • Retail: Brick-and-mortar stores continued to face challenges in December, with some job losses reported.
  • Construction: The construction industry saw a slight decline in employment in December, likely due to seasonal factors.

Compare to Same Month Last Year:

  • Compared to December 2022, Lawrence’s job market added a remarkable 11,200 jobs, representing a 23.8% increase.
  • This growth significantly outpaces the national average job growth rate of 4.6% over the same period.

Compare to Previous Month:

  • December’s job gains were slightly higher than November’s 6,800 jobs added, suggesting continued momentum in the Lawrence job market.
  • The unemployment rate remained stable at 2.8% compared to November, indicating a tight labor market.

Future Outlook:

  • The Lawrence job market is expected to remain strong in 2024, with continued job growth projected across various sectors.
  • Factors such as the presence of the University of Kansas, a growing healthcare industry, and ongoing investments in technology and innovation are expected to contribute to positive economic trends.

10 Growing Occupations (December 2023 vs. December 2022):

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts
  3. General and Operations Managers
  4. Customer Service Representatives
  5. Truck Drivers
  6. Elementary and Middle School Teachers
  7. Physician Assistants
  8. Accountants and Auditors
  9. Marketing Specialists
  10. Retail Salespersons

10 Companies Hiring Now (as of January 30, 2024):

  1. University of Kansas
  2. Kansas University Medical Center
  3. Garmin International
  4. Panasonic
  5. LMH Health
  6. Hallmark Cards
  7. Hill’s Pet Nutrition
  8. NCR Corporation
  9. Fidelity National Financial
  10. Sunflower Bank