Scranton, PA – December 2023 Jobs Report – Holiday Buzz Buoys Employment

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Scranton’s labor market ended 2023 on a strong note, adding jobs for the fourth consecutive month and defying national trends of slowing employment growth. The unemployment rate remained low, suggesting a resilient local economy despite nationwide economic concerns.


  • Nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 2,400, surpassing pre-pandemic levels for the first time.
  • Unemployment rate held steady at 3.5%, matching the national average.
  • Growth concentrated in trade, transportation, and utilities (+500 jobs) and healthcare (+300 jobs).
  • Losses seen in education (-200 jobs) and government (-100 jobs).
  • Year-over-year job growth robust at 2.2%, outpacing the national average of 1.5%.
  • Monthly increase follows a revised gain of 1,800 jobs in November.

What Industries and Occupations Grew:

  • Trade, transportation, and utilities: Continued robust holiday shopping likely fueled the sector’s expansion, particularly in warehouse and delivery positions.
  • Healthcare: Demand for healthcare services remained strong, adding jobs in nursing, home care, and medical support roles.
  • Professional and business services: Modest growth seen in legal, accounting, and engineering professions.

What Industries and Occupations Shrank:

  • Education: School districts faced budget constraints, leading to teacher and staff reductions.
  • Government: Local government jobs declined slightly, potentially due to seasonal hiring patterns.
  • Manufacturing: The sector remained stagnant, adding no new jobs in December.

Compare to Same Month Last Year:

  • December 2023 job growth significantly higher than December 2022’s gain of 1,200 jobs.
  • Unemployment rate down from 4.9% in December 2022, indicating a tightening labor market.

Compare to Previous Month:

  • December’s job gain slightly higher than November’s revised figure, suggesting sustained momentum.
  • Unemployment rate unchanged from November, indicating stability in the labor market.

Future Outlook:

  • Scranton’s economic outlook remains cautiously optimistic. Continued demand in healthcare and potential infrastructure projects bode well for job growth.
  • However, national economic uncertainties, including recessionary concerns, could dampen local gains in the coming months.

10 Growing Occupations:

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Truck Drivers
  3. Home Health Aides
  4. Software Developers
  5. Warehouse Laborers
  6. Customer Service Representatives
  7. General Laborers
  8. Accountants and Auditors
  9. Physical Therapists
  10. Electricians

10 Companies Hiring Now:

  1. Geisinger Health System
  2. Amazon
  3. Walmart
  4. Tobyhanna Army Depot
  5. Lackawanna County Government
  6. The University of Scranton
  7. Mercy Health System
  8. Commonwealth Bank of Pennsylvania
  9. Trane Technologies
  10. First National Bank of Pennsylvania