Special Report

Jobs With the Best (and Worst) Job Security

The Jobs with the Lowest Unemployment Rates

25. Eligibility interviewers for government programs
> Unemployment rate:
> Labor force: 75,000
> Industry: Office and administrative support
> Median annual wage: $42,200

Employment in the government sector can be relatively stable, as many positions are needed in both robust and weak economic climates. Interviewers who determine the eligibility of persons applying to receive public resources, including welfare, unemployment benefits, social security, and public housing have relatively secure positions. In a strong economy, there is likely less pressure to lay off these workers, and in a weak economy, the need for interviewers is likely augmented by an increase in the number of applicants. Just 1.2% of the roughly 75,000 people who either currently hold this position or held it as their last job are unemployed.

24. Dental hygienists
> Unemployment rate:
> Labor force: 179,000
> Industry: Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations
> Median annual wage: $71,520

As is the case with many other health professions, dental hygienists are in demand, and Americans pursuing such a career have better prospects than many other job seekers. Not only are just 1.2% of hygienists unemployed, but also the BLS estimates 37,400 additional hygienists will be needed through 2024. This would be a 19% growth over about a decade — much faster than the national growth outlook.

23. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists
> Unemployment rate:
> Labor force: 100,000
> Industry: Community and social service
> Median annual wage: $49,060

The United States is home to 20% of the world’s imprisoned population, by far the highest share of any country. Roughly one in 35 U.S. adults are either incarcerated, on parole, or on probation. One direct consequence is an abundance of jobs tied to the criminal justice system. With such high demand, the unemployment rate among probation officers and correctional treatment specialists is only 1.2%, one of the lowest of any profession in the country. While those in the field enjoy an uncommon level of job security, the work can be both stressful and dangerous as it involves working with ex-convicts, often in high crime areas.

22. Psychologists
> Unemployment rate:
> Labor force: 195,000
> Industry: Life, physical, and social science
> Median annual wage: $70,700

At 1.2%, psychologists have the lowest unemployment rate of any specialization within the life, physical, and social sciences occupations. According to the BLS, the field is expected to grow by 19% over the next decade, a much faster rate than the average occupation. One reason for the projected growth may be the nation’s increasing elderly population, currently at its largest in history. Increased incidence of diseases and daily life difficulties can also increase the needs of the aging population for help in coping with these challenges. In 2013, the American Board of Professional Psychology established geropsychology as a new area of specialization, a branch of the science specifically concerned with the treatment of older persons.

21. Medical and health services managers
> Unemployment rate:
> Labor force: 644,000
> Industry: Management
> Median annual wage: $92,810

While the unemployment rate of 2.2% in management occupations is much lower than the 4.7% unemployment rate across all industries and occupations in the country, unemployment in the medical and health services management field is even lower. Only 1.2% of the 644,000 workers in the field are out of a job. Those employed in the field are responsible for managing health care facilities, organizing the delivery of health care services, and ensuring compliance with changing laws and regulations. Low unemployment in the field and the much faster than average job growth projection may be the direct result of increasing health insurance coverage rates under the Affordable Care Act.