The unemployment rate has been improving in recent years, yet some industries are faring better than others. Every month, employment data are meticulously calculated and reported. To cull the jobs with the lowest unemployment rates, the investigation begins broadly, with the unemployment rates for 16 industry groups, and then narrows by specific jobs within the industries.
How Unemployment Data Are Calculated
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) routinely surveys the employment landscape to calculate the number of employed and unemployed persons each month. The unemployment statistic is widely reported and considered a component of the health of the overall U.S. economy. Yet, there’s some confusion about where these numbers originate.
To get the employment numbers, the government conducts a monthly survey called the Current Population Survey (CPS). The survey participants come from a pool of approximately 60,000 households that includes 110,000 individuals from representative parts of the entire country. Adhering to strict guidelines, U.S. Census Bureau employees contact these households in person or by phone to determine the employment status of the inhabitants. (See: What You Need to Know About the Employment Report.)
Determining who is unemployed and who is employed is straightforward. According to the BLS, people with jobs are employed. Individuals without jobs, but who are seeking a job or are available for work, are unemployed. People who are neither employed nor unemployed are considered not in the workforce.
Industries with the Lowest Unemployment Rates
In the September 2018 BLS report, the unemployment rates ranged from 1.9% for mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction to 7.3% for farming, fishing and forestry occupations. Of the 16 industry groups reported on, these six had the lowest employment rates:
- Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction – 1.9%
- Management, business and financial operations occupations – 2.0%
- Management, professional and related occupations – 2.5%
- Installation, maintenance and repair occupations – 2.5%
- Manufacturing-Durable goods – 2.6%
- Financial Activities – 2.7%
These broad industry classifications can be broken down into specific job titles.
Jobs with the Lowest Unemployment Rates and Highest Job Availability
Jobs with low unemployment rates dovetail with high job availability and positive future employment opportunities. All of the promising jobs with the lowest unemployment rates fall into the BLS low unemployment categories.
- Cybersecurity Expert – The Cybersecurity Business Report claims a zero unemployment rate for workers in this demanding job. The employment crisis for cybersecurity experts is expected to continue through 2021. In 2016, there were 1 million job openings, with two openings for every available job candidate. The rapid job growth is expected to reach 1.5 million positions by 2019.
- Accountant – A recent Wall Street Journal article by Vipal Monga describes the difficulty employers are having finding experienced accountants. Experienced accountants and auditors had a rock-bottom 2.5% unemployment rate in 2016, the article notes. This is a large decline from the field's unemployment rate of 4.2% in 2011.
Following are jobs with low current unemployment and high growth going forward. (See also: Top 10 Highest-Paying Jobs in the World.) Aggregating information from CareerBuilder.com and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics News Release for fastest growing jobs for 2014 through 2024, these occupations are in the low unemployment industries:
- Registered Nurse – This health services job posts approximately 300,000 job listings per month and a little under 100,000 are hired a month, which means almost 200,000 remain open.
- Software Developer, Applications – This highly technical job within the Information industry claims 114,921 jobs per month with only 31,272 monthly hires, leaving a large gap of unfilled positions.
- Marketing Manager – There are 91,630 jobs, on average, posted in this job category, with only 8,447 of those positions filled.
- Medical and Health Services Manager – This job, with low unemployment, lists approximately 64,000 jobs per month and fills 11,850 of them, leaving a gap of almost 52,000.
- Network and Computer Systems Administrator – This position has close to 70,000 job postings per month and just 18,568 monthly hires.
- Industrial Engineer – This highly skilled job claims 55,264 listings per month with a mere 7,985 jobs filled every month.
- Computer Systems Analyst – Another information industry position has 71,555 job postings monthly, 24,703 hires a month and a gap of 46,852 unfilled jobs.
- Web Developer – Continuing in the information industry, there are 52,431 available web developer jobs each month and just 6,641 are hired monthly.
- Financial Manager – The job availability for these professionals is 63,157 per month; 23,251 people are hired from the candidate pool each month.
The following jobs were not listed on CareerBuilder.com, but each offers plenty of opportunity for work in a growing field. Salaries are lower than the jobs listed above, however.
- Occupational and Physical Therapy Assistant and Aide – These health-related positions with low unemployment are expected to grow rapidly, and they require less than a four-year college degree.
- Home Health Aide – With the aging of the American population, there are plentiful work opportunities for this job category. By 2024, this profession is expected to see 38.1% job growth.
The Bottom Line
Across the country, the unemployment outlook varies by region. That said, there is high worker demand and low unemployment in the medical, business and healthcare sectors. Whether or not you have a four-year college degree, a variety of positions are available today – and are expected to be into the future – that have low unemployment rates and high projected growth. (You may also be interested in 5 Top Jobs of the Future.)