Santa Maria, CA – December 2023 Jobs Report – Solid Growth Persists

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The December 2023 jobs report for Santa Maria, CA, indicates continued economic expansion, with unemployment holding steady and job growth exceeding national averages. Let’s dive into the details:


  • The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.9%, slightly above the November rate of 3.7% but well below the December 2022 rate of 4.2%.
  • Nonfarm job growth rose by 0.2%, adding 400 new positions to the local economy.
  • This surpasses the national average of 0.1% growth for the same period.


  • The Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sector led job gains, adding 200 positions, primarily in retail trade and transportation and warehousing.
  • Leisure and Hospitality showed continued recovery, adding 100 jobs, particularly in food services and accommodation.
  • Professional and Business Services remained stable, adding 50 jobs in areas like administrative support and professional, scientific, and technical services.

Industries and Occupations that Grew:

Industries and Occupations that Shrank:

  • No significant declines were reported across major industries or occupations.

Comparison to Same Month Last Year:

  • The unemployment rate in December 2023 is 0.3% lower than December 2022.
  • Nonfarm job growth is up 2.6% compared to December 2022.

Comparison to Previous Month:

  • The unemployment rate remained unchanged from November 2023.
  • Nonfarm job growth increased slightly from 0.1% in November 2023.

Future Outlook:

The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce projects continued economic growth in 2024, with job creation fueled by the tourism, agriculture, and healthcare sectors. However, potential headwinds such as rising interest rates and inflation could pose challenges.

10 Growing Occupations:

  1. Retail Salespersons
  2. Customer Service Representatives
  3. Transportation Occupations (truck drivers, delivery personnel)
  4. Registered Nurses
  5. Nursing Assistants
  6. Personal Care Aides
  7. Home Health Aides
  8. Software Developers and Applications Developers
  9. Marketing Specialists
  10. Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides

10 Companies Hiring Now:

  1. Allan Hancock College (hiring across various departments)
  2. Marian Regional Medical Center (hiring nurses, technicians, administrative staff)
  3. Vons Companies, Inc. (hiring cashiers, stockers, customer service representatives)
  4. FedEx Ground (hiring delivery drivers, package handlers)
  5. Amazon (hiring warehouse associates, delivery drivers)
  6. Home Depot (hiring cashiers, sales associates, stockers)
  7. Lowe’s (hiring cashiers, sales associates, stockers)
  8. Albertsons Companies (hiring cashiers, stockers, customer service representatives)
  9. Dollar General (hiring cashiers, sales associates, stockers)
  10. Starbucks (hiring baristas, shift supervisors)