Special Report

Jobs With the Best (and Worst) Job Security

20. Physical therapists
> Unemployment rate:
> Labor force: 277,000
> Industry: Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations
> Median annual wage: $82,390

A large share of jobs in the health care sector have very low unemployment. The growing need for medical care arises from the growing rate of health insurance coverage in this country, as well as the increasing size of the nation’s elderly population. Physical therapists have benefitted from this phenomenon and have a small 1.1% unemployment rate. According to the BLS, “Older people are more likely to experience heart attacks, strokes, and mobility-related injuries that require physical therapy for rehabilitation.”

19. Public relations specialists
> Unemployment rate:
> Labor force: 149,000
> Industry: Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media
> Median annual wage: $55,680

Public relations specialists work to create and preserve a positive public image for their clients. The industry has changed considerably over the last several decades. Almost every consumer-facing company now has a social media presence, a significant pillar of modern marketing strategy. As the channels for companies to reach the public grow, so does the need for public relation specialists. Just 1.1% of public relations specialists are unemployed, one of the lowest unemployment rates of any occupation. A typical job in the industry requires a bachelor’s degree and pays about $56,000 a year.

18. Lawyers
> Unemployment rate:
> Labor force: 1,173,000
> Industry: Legal
> Median annual wage: $114,970

Much has been made about the waning need for new lawyers in the U.S. in recent years. A law degree is now much less likely to translate to a job at a firm. According to one estimate, only 60% of the 2014 class of law school students found full, long-term employment within 10 months that required bar certification. Still, those who are able to find jobs practicing law appear highly likely to hold on to them, with the unemployment rate among lawyers at just 1.1%.

17. Clergy
> Unemployment rate:
> Labor force: 474,000
> Industry: Community and social service
> Median annual wage: $43,950

Of the 474,000 clergy workers, 1.1% are looking for work. Americans in these professions perform spiritual activities related to religious faith and often provide moral guidance and assistance to participants. While the job climate seems relatively strong for clergy workers, the profession’s outlook may soon change considerably. A recent study from Pew Research Center found that the share of the U.S. population who identifies as Christian is declining, while people who not identify with any religion are growing.

16. Police and sheriff’s patrol officers
> Unemployment rate:
> Labor force: 695,000
> Industry: Protective services
> Median annual wage: N/A

The unemployment rate among police officers is especially low. Only about 1% of those who work in law enforcement are unemployed, a significantly smaller share than the 4.7% unemployment rate across all occupations in the country. The vast majority of police and sheriff’s patrol officers work for local governments. While jobs in law enforcement are relatively secure, they can also be physically demanding and often dangerous.