The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.5% in December 2019, unchanged from the multi-decade low the previous month. For many working Americans, job security is better now than it has ever been — particularly those in certain occupations.
Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed unemployment rates by occupation to identify the jobs with the best job security. To be counted among a certain occupation, an unemployed individual needed to have held that specific job immediately prior to being unemployed. For each occupation on this list, the unemployment rate is below 1%.
The average unemployment rate across all occupations is at a historic low, largely because of strong underlying economic conditions. Currently, the U.S. economy is undergoing the longest period of sustained growth in its history. While these conditions have contributed to the low unemployment rates among the jobs on this list, there are other factors at play.
Many of the jobs on this list are primarily or entirely in the public sector. According to the BLS, government jobs have lower churn rates than any single industry in the private sector. High employee retention leads to lower frictional unemployment, which is the base level unemployment in an occupation, resulting from churn. Here is a look at the states where the most people work for the government.
Growing demand for personnel among the jobs on this list has also contributed to lowering the unemployment rates in these jobs. According to BLS projections, total employment — the number of people working — is expected to grow by 5.2% across all occupations between 2018 and 2028. In the vast majority of the occupations on this list, employment is also projected to climb in the coming years, and in over half, employment growth is expected to exceed the average growth.
Another common trait many of the jobs with the lowest unemployment rates share is their high degree of specialization. About half of these jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree, and many require a PhD or masters degree. Such high educational attainment requirements for jobs like dentists, lawyers, and physicians reduce the number of people competing for these jobs and help contribute to a tighter labor market. Partly because of the high level of training, these jobs are also high paying. Here is a look at the 79 jobs with six-figure salaries.