Salinas, CA – December 2023 Jobs Report – A Tale of Two Metrics: Low Unemployment Meets Stagnant Growth

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December 2023 presented a mixed picture for Salinas’ job market. While the unemployment rate continued a downward trend, reaching a record low, overall job growth remained stagnant. This scenario highlights a tight labor market with strong worker demand but limited new positions emerging.


  • Record-low unemployment rate: At 11.9%, the unemployment rate reached its lowest point since data collection began, indicating significant demand for workers.
  • Flat job growth: The total nonfarm job count held steady compared to November, suggesting a lack of significant momentum in job creation.
  • Education and health services see gains: This sector added 130 jobs, potentially reflecting growth in healthcare and education fields.

What Industries and Occupations Grew:

  • Education and health services: As mentioned above, this industry gained 130 jobs, showing potential for further expansion in healthcare and education.
  • Leisure and hospitality: This sector added 20 jobs, likely due to seasonal hiring in tourism and hospitality industries.
  • Construction: This industry saw stable employment with no significant changes, but experts anticipate future projects could fuel growth.

What Industries and Occupations Shrank:

  • Government: This sector shed 40 jobs, potentially due to budgetary constraints or seasonal fluctuations.
  • Agriculture: This industry lost 30 jobs, which could be attributed to post-harvest adjustments or automation trends.
  • Retail trade: This sector also lost 20 jobs, possibly reflecting ongoing challenges in brick-and-mortar retail.

Compare to Same Month Last Year:

  • Unemployment rate: Down from 14.7% in December 2022, indicating a significant tightening of the labor market.
  • Nonfarm job growth: Slightly lower than the 150 jobs added in December 2022, showcasing a slowdown in overall job creation.

Compare to Previous Month:

  • Unemployment rate: Down from 13.5% in November 2023, further solidifying the tight labor market.
  • Nonfarm job growth: Remained unchanged compared to November 2023, signifying continued stagnation in job creation.

Future Outlook:

Economists predict cautious optimism for Salinas’ job market in 2024. While the low unemployment rate indicates strong demand for workers, concerns remain about sustained job growth. Potential opportunities lie in healthcare, education, and construction, but broader economic factors could impact the overall outlook.

10 Growing Occupations in Salinas, CA:

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

10 Companies Hiring Now in Salinas, CA:

  1. Monterey Peninsula Unified School District
  2. Natividad Medical Center
  3. Walmart
  4. Dole Food Company
  5. Driscoll’s
  6. Target
  7. Amazon
  8. Home Depot
  9. Lowe’s
  10. Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System