Sat, March 02, 2024

Simon Says: Some employment sectors bode well for 2024

Employment in the Augusta Metropolitan Statistical Area ended in 2023 pretty much where it started. In December, employment was 244,000, down just 100 jobs from December 2022 (see below).

Mining, logging, and construction were the industry sectors that saw the largest increase in employment over the last calendar year, increasing by 5.8 percent, or about 1,000 jobs. Construction activity bodes well for 2024, as firms invest in new or expanded facilities and residential construction reflects consumer confidence.

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Leisure and hospitality also ended the year 3.5 percent higher, almost 1,000 jobs. Manufacturing, government, education, and health services also saw positive employment numbers over the year.

The industry sector that lost the most jobs over the calendar year was professional and business services, which lost over 2,500 jobs or a decrease of 7.3 percent. Transportation and utilities lost over 500 jobs (a 6.3 percent decrease) and information employment declined by 4.8 percent, but this only represents 100 jobs.

Retail trade did see a rebound from the November data, but finished the year with almost 1,300 fewer jobs than in December 2022 (a 4.6 percent decrease). Financial services employment was unchanged.

In other good news, average weekly earnings increased from $897 in December 2022 to $971 in December 2023. That 8.2 percent increase outpaced inflation for the year.

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