Roanoke, VA – December 2023 Jobs Report – Steady Gains Amid National Fluctuations

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Roanoke’s job market maintained its positive momentum in December 2023, adding jobs for the third consecutive month, albeit at a slightly slower pace compared to November. The unemployment rate held steady at 2.9%, mirroring the national average.


  • Total nonfarm employment increased by 100 jobs: While modest, this marks the 12th consecutive month of job growth for the Roanoke metro area.
  • Education and Health Services led the gains: Adding 200 jobs, this sector continues to be a major driver of local employment.
  • Leisure and Hospitality remained stable: After strong gains in previous months, this sector held steady with no significant job changes.
  • Government employment saw slight declines: Both state and local government shed jobs in December, contributing to a small overall decrease in the sector.

What Industries and Occupations Grew:

  • Education and Health Services: Healthcare support occupations, medical assistants, and registered nurses were among the fastest-growing occupations in this sector.
  • Manufacturing: Durable goods manufacturing saw modest job gains, driven by increased production in the transportation equipment and fabricated metal products industries.
  • Construction: This sector added a small number of jobs, primarily in specialty trades like electricians and plumbers.

What Industries and Occupations Shrank:

  • Government: State government employment declined by 50 jobs, while local government shed 30 jobs. Specific reasons for these reductions were not readily available.
  • Professional and Business Services: Management positions and administrative support roles saw slight job losses in this sector.
  • Information: This sector remained largely unchanged, with no significant job gains or losses reported.

Compare to Same Month Last Year:

  • Roanoke’s job market has added 2,800 jobs since December 2022, representing a 1.7% increase. This growth rate outpaces the national average of 1.4%.
  • The unemployment rate has remained stable compared to December 2022, indicating continued resilience in the local labor market.

Compare to Previous Month:

  • Job growth in December (100 jobs) was slower than in November (300 jobs), suggesting a possible slight moderation in the pace of expansion.
  • The unemployment rate held steady at 2.9% compared to November, indicating stability in the labor force participation.

Future Outlook:

The Roanoke job market is expected to maintain its positive trajectory in 2024. Continued growth in healthcare, manufacturing, and construction sectors is anticipated. However, potential national economic headwinds, including rising interest rates and global uncertainties, could pose challenges in the later part of the year.

10 Growing Occupations:

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Home Health Aides
  3. Software Developers and Programmers
  4. Truck Drivers
  5. Construction Laborers
  6. General and Operations Managers
  7. Physician Assistants
  8. Customer Service Representatives
  9. Electricians
  10. Physician-Family Practice

10 Companies Hiring Now:

  1. Carilion Clinic
  2. Ferguson Enterprises
  3. LewisGale Medical Center
  4. Dollar Tree
  5. City of Roanoke
  6. Roanoke County Public Schools
  7. WellCare Health Plans
  8. Bimbo Bakeries USA
  9. U.S. Bank
  10. Wells Fargo