Special Report

Careers With the Worst Job Security

In an era of historic inflation and growing concerns over a potential recession, the job market remains a bright spot in the U.S. economy. The national jobless rate stands at 3.6%, its lowest point since the beginning of the pandemic and closely in line with pre-pandemic lows. Despite a tight labor market overall, certain occupations do not provide as much job security as others.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed unemployment rates by occupation to identify the jobs with the worst job security. To be counted among a certain occupation, an unemployed individual needed to have held that specific job immediately prior to being unemployed. Among the jobs on this list, unemployment rates range from 9% to 33%. 

Many jobs on this list are in the travel, hospitality, and entertainment industries that were hit hard by closures early on in the COVID-19 pandemic. These jobs include flight attendants, hosts and hostesses, maids, and bartenders. Travel restrictions and business closures during the pandemic led to the loss of nearly 4 million hospitality jobs in 2020, according to American Hotel and Lodging Association, an industry advocacy group. Here is a look at the industries laying off the most Americans

Other potential explanations for the high unemployment levels among the jobs on this list include decreasing demand for workers due to increasing automation. Some high-unemployment occupations, such as cashiers and legal secretaries and administrative assistants will be in far lower demand as technological advances continue to reduce the need for personnel.

It is important to note that in many of these occupations, high unemployment is partially attributable to workers willingly walking away. In a trend now known as the Great Resignation, Americans are quitting at near-record rates, often citing low pay and little room for advancement as reasons. Indeed, many of the jobs on this list are entry-level positions that are typically low paying, including wait staff and dishwashers. Here is a look at the states where the most people are quitting their jobs.

Click here to see the jobs with the worst job security
Click here to read our detailed methodology

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