Winston-Salem, NC – December 2023 Jobs Report: Cautious Progress Amidst Layoffs

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December 2023’s jobs report for Winston-Salem paints a picture of cautious progress, marked by modest job gains offset by news of major layoffs and ongoing national economic uncertainties. Preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates a slight increase in employment, while local news highlights potential challenges ahead.


  • Employment: Total nonfarm employment in the Winston-Salem, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) reached 326,400 jobs, representing an increase of 100 jobs from November 2023.
  • Unemployment: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.0%, indicating a tight labor market despite national concerns.

Growing Industries and Occupations:

  • Leisure and Hospitality: This sector led the pack with 200 new jobs, fueled by the holiday season and ongoing tourism, particularly in restaurants and hotels.
  • Construction: This sector added 50 jobs, potentially reflecting continued development activity within the local housing market.
  • Growing Occupations: Registered nurses, software developers and applications, customer service representatives, and marketing specialists saw job growth.

Shrinking Industries and Occupations:

  • Manufacturing: This sector lost 200 jobs, primarily due to Hanesbrands announcing the closure of a distribution center, impacting 159 employees.
  • Information: This sector also declined by 20 jobs, mirroring national trends impacting certain information technology areas.

Compared to Same Month Last Year:

  • December 2023’s job growth of 0.3% fell short of the 0.7% increase in December 2022, signifying a slightly slower pace of expansion.
  • The unemployment rate remained stable at 3.0%, matching the national average and indicating a competitive job market.

Compared to Previous Month:

  • December 2023 saw slightly lower job gains than November 2023, potentially reflecting seasonal fluctuations or adjustments to initial estimates.
  • The unemployment rate held steady, signifying a consistent labor market.

Future Outlook:

While experts predict continued job growth for Winston-Salem in 2024, the pace might be slower than 2023. Expansion in healthcare, professional services, and construction could fuel job creation, but national economic concerns like inflation and rising interest rates remain concerning factors. Additionally, the recent Hanesbrands layoffs raise questions about the stability of certain manufacturing sectors within the city.

10 Growing Occupations:

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Software Developers and Applications
  3. Customer Service Representatives
  4. Marketing Specialists
  5. Construction Laborers
  6. Sales Representatives
  7. Physical Therapists
  8. Elementary and Middle School Teachers
  9. Accountants and Auditors
  10. Home Health and Personal Care Aides

10 Companies Hiring Now:

  1. Wake Forest Baptist Health
  2. Novant Health
  3. RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company
  4. Truliant Federal Credit Union
  5. Inmar Intelligence
  6. Hanesbrands (hiring for specific positions outside the closed distribution center)
  7. Amazon
  8. Walmart
  9. The Home Depot
  10. Lowe’s Companies, Inc.