Salem, OR – December 2023 Jobs Report – Mixed Signals Amidst Stability

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December 2023 presented a contrasting picture for Salem’s job market. While the unemployment rate remained steady, suggesting a balanced labor market, job growth saw a slight decline compared to November. Key sectors like healthcare and construction showed signs of expansion, offering potential bright spots amidst overall cautious optimism.


  • Stable unemployment rate: At 3.9%, the unemployment rate held firm, signifying neither widespread joblessness nor overwhelming demand for workers.
  • Slowed job growth: The nonfarm job count added only 5 positions compared to November, showcasing a deceleration in job creation.
  • Healthcare and construction show promise: These sectors added 10 and 5 jobs respectively, hinting at potential growth in these areas.

What Industries and Occupations Grew:

  • Healthcare and Social Assistance: As mentioned above, this sector added 10 jobs, potentially reflecting growth in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare providers.
  • Construction: This industry gained 5 jobs, possibly tied to ongoing residential and commercial building projects.
  • Other Services: This sector saw stable employment with no significant changes, but experts anticipate future projects could stimulate growth in areas like personal and repair services.

What Industries and Occupations Shrank:

  • Retail Trade: This sector lost 15 jobs, potentially due to ongoing challenges in brick-and-mortar retail or post-holiday adjustments.
  • Leisure and Hospitality: This industry also lost 10 jobs, possibly reflecting seasonal fluctuations in tourism and hospitality.
  • Financial Activities: This sector shed 5 jobs, which could be attributed to various factors within the broader industry.

Compare to Same Month Last Year:

  • Unemployment rate: Down slightly from 4.3% in December 2022, signifying a minor improvement in the labor market.
  • Nonfarm job growth: Lower than the 30 jobs added in December 2022, showcasing a slowdown in job creation.

Compare to Previous Month:

  • Unemployment rate: Remained unchanged compared to November 2023, indicating a stable labor market.
  • Nonfarm job growth: Decreased from the 15 jobs added in November 2023, showcasing a negative trend in job creation.

Future Outlook:

Economists predict cautious optimism for Salem’s job market in 2024. The stable unemployment rate and modest job growth suggest a balanced market, but potential headwinds like national economic concerns and inflation could create uncertainty. Healthcare, construction, and other services might offer growth opportunities, but broader factors could impact the overall outlook.

10 Growing Occupations in Salem, OR:

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Nursing Assistants
  3. Home Health and Personal Care Aides
  4. Customer Service Representatives
  5. Construction Laborers
  6. Software Developers and Applications Developers
  7. Marketing Specialists
  8. Teachers
  9. Sales Representatives
  10. Truck Drivers

10 Companies Hiring Now in Salem, OR:

  1. Salem Health
  2. Oregon State University
  3. Willamette Valley Medical Center
  4. City of Salem
  5. Walmart
  6. Amazon
  7. Target
  8. The Home Depot
  9. Lowe’s
  10. FedEx