Worcester, MA – December 2023 Jobs Report – Stagnant Growth, Eyes on the Horizon

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December 2023 presented a mixed picture for Worcester’s job market. While the unemployment rate continued its downward trend, job growth stalled compared to previous months. Specific sectors offered glimmers of hope, suggesting potential pockets of opportunity, but overall a cautious approach is warranted.


  • Lower unemployment rate: At 3.6%, the unemployment rate decreased slightly from November, indicating some improvement in the labor market.
  • Stalled job creation: The nonfarm job count remained nearly unchanged, adding only 10 positions, showcasing a significant slowdown in hiring activity.
  • Professional Services and Government offer promise: These sectors added 5 and 20 jobs respectively, potentially suggesting expansion in public services and diverse professional fields.

What Industries and Occupations Grew:

  • Professional and Business Services: This sector added 20 jobs, encompassing areas like finance, consulting, and technology. Accountants, marketing specialists, and customer service representatives could see opportunities.
  • Government: This sector also saw minor growth with 5 additional positions, potentially reflecting public service expansion. Occupations like teachers, social workers, and administrative assistants might benefit.
  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities: This industry gained 10 jobs, possibly tied to seasonal fluctuations or specific transportation needs. Truck drivers, logistics specialists, and warehouse workers could be in demand.

What Industries and Occupations Shrank:

  • Leisure and Hospitality: This sector lost 20 jobs, likely due to post-holiday adjustments or ongoing challenges in brick-and-mortar retail. Positions in restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues might be impacted.
  • Construction: This industry shed 10 jobs, potentially reflecting project completion cycles or seasonal fluctuations. Carpenters, electricians, and construction laborers could be affected.
  • Manufacturing: This sector also lost 10 jobs, mirroring national trends or industry-specific factors. Specific impacted occupations are unclear.

Compare to Same Month Last Year:

  • Unemployment rate: Down from 3.8% in December 2022, signifying a minor improvement in the labor market.
  • Nonfarm job growth: Lower than the 400 jobs added in December 2022, highlighting a marked deceleration in hiring.

Compare to Previous Month:

  • Unemployment rate: Decreased slightly from 3.7% in November 2023, indicating a stable but potentially concerning level.
  • Nonfarm job growth: Significantly lower than the 1,000 jobs added in November 2023, reflecting a dramatic slowdown in hiring.

Future Outlook:

Economists predict cautious optimism for Worcester’s job market in 2024. The lower unemployment rate, despite sluggish job growth, suggests potential resilience. However, headwinds like national economic concerns and inflation could create uncertainty. Professional services, government, and healthcare might offer opportunities, while broader factors could impact the overall outlook.

10 Growing Occupations in Worcester, MA:

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Nursing Assistants
  3. Customer Service Representatives
  4. Sales Representatives
  5. Teachers
  6. Software Developers and Applications Developers
  7. Marketing Specialists
  8. Accountants and Auditors
  9. Construction Laborers
  10. Truck Drivers

10 Companies Hiring Now in Worcester, MA:

  1. UMass Memorial Health Care
  2. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  3. Fallon Health
  4. Saint Gobain
  5. Hanover Insurance Group
  6. The Hanover Insurance Group
  7. City of Worcester
  8. Price Chopper Supermarkets
  9. Home Depot
  10. Lowe’s