NPR logo Which Jobs Have The Highest And Lowest Unemployment Rates?


Which Jobs Have The Highest And Lowest Unemployment Rates?

The unemployment rate for dentists is less than 1 percent. hide caption

toggle caption

We've looked at unemployment rates by gender, education, and age. We've shown jobs lost and gained in different industries over the past decade. Now, the WSJ has a table showing unemployment rates by occupation.

There is, of course, a massive range — from less than 1 percent unemployment for some jobs, to more than 30 percent for others. The trends at both ends of the spectrum mirror some of the big shifts we've seen in the economy.

Of the 10 occupations with the lowest unemployment rate, five are in healthcare, which has been the big jobs winner in recent years. And of the 10 occupations with the highest rate, seven are in construction, which has been hit hard by the recession.

Occupations with the lowest unemployment rates:

  • Appraisers and assessors of real estate: 0.4%
  • Therapists, all other: 0.4%
  • First-line managers of police and detectives: 0.4%
  • Locomotive engineers and operators: 0.4%
  • Directors, religious activities and education: 0.8%
  • Dentists: 0.8%
  • Speech-language pathologists: 0.8%
  • Detectives and criminal investigators: 0.8%
  • Physicians and surgeons: 0.9%
  • Occupational therapists: 1.0%
(Note: "Therapists, all other" refers to therapists that don't fall into any of several categories of therapists tracked by the government.)

Occupations with the highest unemployment rates:

  • Helpers, construction trades: 36.0%
  • Telemarketers: 34.8%
  • Structural iron and steel workers: 28.4%
  • Roofers: 27.1%
  • Millwrights: 25.5%
  • Cement masons, concrete finishers, and terrazzo workers: 25.3%
  • Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons: 25.1%
  • Construction laborers: 25.0%
  • Drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers: 23.9%
  • Interviewers, except eligibility and loan: 23.4%
(Note: Here's an explanation of "Interviewers, except eligibility and loan.")