Portsmouth, VA – January 2024 Jobs Report – Steady Growth Amidst Shifting Tides

, ,

Portsmouth’s labor market held steady in January 2024, mirroring the cautious optimism observed in Virginia Beach’s December report. While unemployment remained low, certain industries experienced slower growth compared to previous months. This analysis provides insights into the city’s job market dynamics,  highlighting trends in growing and shrinking industries, comparisons to past periods, and a glimpse into the future outlook.


  • Low unemployment: Portsmouth retained its competitive job market with low unemployment, reflecting continued demand for skilled workers.
  • Selective growth: Certain industries, such as healthcare and professional services, continued to show positive job growth, while others experienced slower expansion.
  • Focus on data: An upsurge in demand for data-related roles like Data Analysts and Cybersecurity Specialists emerged as a notable trend.

What Industries and Occupations Grew:

  • Healthcare: Continued expansion in hospitals, clinics, and home healthcare agencies created jobs for Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Home Health Aides.
  • Professional & Business Services: Growth in legal, accounting, and management consulting firms fueled demand for Lawyers, Accountants, and Management Analysts.
  • Technology: Increased focus on data security and analysis led to hiring sprees for Data Analysts, Cybersecurity Specialists, and Software Developers.

What Industries and Occupations Shrank:

  • Retail Trade: E-commerce competition and cautious consumer spending impacted brick-and-mortar stores, leading to job losses in Retail Salespersons and Cashiers.
  • Leisure & Hospitality: The post-holiday season slowdown resulted in fewer positions for Food Service Workers and Hotel Staff.

Compare to Same Month Last Year:

  • Overall job growth in Portsmouth was slightly lower compared to January 2023, reflecting a national trend of moderation.
  • However, key industries like healthcare and professional services maintained robust growth, exceeding year-ago levels.

Compare to Previous Month:

  • Compared to December 2023, the Portsmouth job market exhibited stable conditions with similar unemployment rates and hiring activity.
  • Some industries, like technology, showed an upswing in hiring compared to the previous month.

Future Outlook:

  • The Portsmouth job market is expected to maintain its stability in the coming months, with continued demand in healthcare, professional services, and technology sectors.
  • Growth in data-related occupations is likely to persist, driven by increasing digitization and cybersecurity concerns.
  • However, potential economic headwinds and national job market fluctuations could impact local hiring trends.

10 Growing Occupations:

  1. Registered Nurse
  2. Physician Assistant
  3. Data Analyst
  4. Software Developer
  5. Management Analyst
  6. Nurse Practitioner
  7. Cybersecurity Specialist
  8. Home Health Aide
  9. Accountant
  10. Lawyer

10 Companies Hiring Now:

  1. Sentara Healthcare
  2. Portsmouth Public Schools
  3. City of Portsmouth
  4. Norfolk Naval Shipyard
  5. Dominion Energy
  6. Newport News Shipbuilding
  7. Towne Bank
  8. Langley Air Force Base
  9. Old Dominion University
  10. GEICO