Spokane, WA – December 2023 Jobs Report – Mixed Signals Amidst Upward Trend

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The December 2023 jobs report for Spokane paints a complex picture of the local economy. While overall employment continued to rise, some sectors experienced job losses, indicating a nuanced market with pockets of opportunity and challenge.


  • Unemployment Rate: The unemployment rate for the Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) reached 5.2%, up slightly from 3.8% in November but still below the national average of 3.5%.
  • Nonfarm Employment: Job growth remained positive, with nonfarm employment increasing by 2.6% year-over-year and 0.4% compared to November 2023. However, this gain was lower than the national average.

Growing Industries and Occupations:

  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities: This sector led the pack with 1,600 new jobs year-over-year, primarily in retail, transportation, and warehousing.
  • Professional and Business Services: Expansion in professional, scientific, and technical services occupations added 700 new jobs since December 2022.
  • Leisure and Hospitality: Despite national challenges, this sector showed resilience in Spokane, adding 400 jobs year-over-year, particularly in restaurants and hotels.
  • Growing Occupations: Retail salespeople, registered nurses, customer service representatives, and truck drivers saw significant job growth.

Shrinking Industries and Occupations:

  • Information: This sector lost 100 jobs year-over-year, mainly in computer and mathematical occupations.
  • Mining, Logging, and Construction: This sector also declined by 100 jobs compared to December 2022.
  • Administrative Support: Occupations like secretaries and bookkeeping clerks experienced a decrease of 200 positions.

Compared to Same Month Last Year:

  • Spokane’s December 2023 unemployment rate was 0.8% higher than in December 2022.
  • However, nonfarm employment increased by 2.6%, showcasing overall job growth.

Compared to Previous Month:

  • December 2023 saw slightly lower job gains than November 2023, potentially reflecting seasonal fluctuations.
  • The unemployment rate continued to decline, signifying a strengthening labor market.

Future Outlook:

Economists predict continued job growth for Spokane in 2024, fueled by expansion in healthcare, logistics, and leisure & hospitality. However, potential headwinds such as rising interest rates and inflation could impact future trends.

10 Growing Occupations:

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Retail Salespersons
  3. Customer Service Representatives
  4. Truck Drivers
  5. Software Developers and Applications
  6. Marketing Specialists
  7. Logistics Coordinators
  8. Healthcare Support Occupations
  9. Elementary and Middle School Teachers
  10. Accounting and Bookkeeping Clerks

10 Companies Hiring Now:

  1. MultiCare Health System
  2. Spokane Public Schools
  3. Boeing Commercial Airplanes
  4. CHI Franciscan Health
  5. Amazon
  6. Walmart
  7. FedEx Corporation
  8. The Home Depot
  9. Starbucks Coffee Company
  10. Lowe’s Companies, Inc.