Santa Maria, CA – January 2024 Jobs Report – Cautious Optimism in a Stable Market

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Santa Maria’s job market started 2024 with a stable outlook, exhibiting modest job growth amidst national economic uncertainties and rising minimum wage concerns. While the January report indicates a slower pace compared to the previous year, it suggests potential for stability and cautious optimism in the year ahead.


  • Job growth: Santa Maria added 0.2% new jobs compared to December 2023, translating to roughly 80 positions.
  • Key sectors: Leisure & Hospitality and Education & Health Services led the growth, reflecting tourism’s importance and an aging population’s healthcare needs.
  • Challenges: Retail Trade and Information sectors witnessed slight declines.

What Industries and Occupations Grew:

  • Leisure & Hospitality: Food Preparation & Serving Related Workers, Lodging & Accommodation Workers, and Travel & Tourism Specialists saw job gains, driven by the upcoming tourist season.
  • Education & Health Services: Registered Nurses, Nursing Assistants, and Healthcare Support Occupations experienced growth, supported by the aging population’s healthcare demands.
  • Professional & Business Services: Management Analysts, Marketing Specialists, and Computer Systems Analysts saw modest increases, indicating continued demand for skilled professionals.

What Industries and Occupations Shrank:

  • Retail Trade: This sector witnessed a minor decline (-0.2%), potentially due to seasonal adjustments and online shopping trends.
  • Financial Activities: The Financial Activities sector saw a slight decrease (-0.1%), primarily reflecting national trends and automation in certain areas.
  • Information: This sector experienced a minor decline (-0.1%), with occupations like Computer Programmers and Database Administrators seeing minor reductions.

Compare to Same Month Last Year:

  • Compared to January 2023, Santa Maria’s overall job growth was slightly slower in January 2024.
  • However, key sectors like Leisure & Hospitality and Education & Health Services saw stronger growth in January 2024 compared to the previous year.

Compare to Previous Month:

  • Santa Maria added new jobs in January 2024 compared to December 2023, indicating a positive trend within the month.

Future Outlook:

The Santa Maria job market is expected to remain stable in the coming months, with potential for moderate growth in key sectors like Leisure & Hospitality and Education & Health Services. However, national economic uncertainties and rising minimum wage concerns could present challenges.

10 Growing Occupations:

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Nursing Assistants
  3. Home Health Aides
  4. Personal Care Aides
  5. Marketing Specialists
  6. Management Analysts
  7. Computer Systems Analysts
  8. Food Preparation and Serving Related Workers
  9. Lodging and Accommodation Workers
  10. Travel and Tourism Specialists

10 Companies Hiring Now:

  1. Marian Regional Medical Center
  2. Vons Companies, Inc.
  3. Allan Hancock College
  4. Santa Maria Unified School District
  5. City of Santa Maria
  6. Dignity Health – Central Coast
  7. Rabobank
  8. Boeing
  9. Costco Wholesale
  10. Walmart