Even when the overall unemployment rate takes a dip, some industries fare better than others. Every month, employment data in the U.S. is 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.
- Even when the overall unemployment rate takes a dip, some industries fare better than others.
- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) routinely surveys the employment landscape to calculate the number of employed and unemployed persons each month.
- In the November 2020 BLS report, the unemployment rates ranged from 3.7% for professional and related occupations to 10.4% for service occupations.
How Unemployment Data Is 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.
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
The table below contains information from the November 2020 Employment Situation report from the BLS. The report shows the unemployment rates for various occupations and industries through November 2020. The unemployment rates ranged from 3.7% for professional and related occupations to 10.4% for farming, fishing, and forestry occupations.
|Industry Occupations and Unemployment Rates|
|Professional and related occupations||3.5%|
|Management, business, and financial operations||3.9%|
|Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations||5.6%|
|Office and administrative support||5.8%|
|Sales and related occupations||6.3%|
|Construction and extraction operations||8.0%|
Occupations with the Highest Projected Growth Rates
Jobs with low unemployment rates dovetail with high job availability and positive future employment opportunities. Below is a list of promising jobs with the lowest unemployment rates and solid growth rates in the future.
Cybersecurity experts or information security analysts plan and execute various security measures to protect an organization's computer networks and systems from threats. Some of the responsibilities of information security analysts can include installing software, maintaining firewalls, and protecting the overall computer network.
Employment for information security analysts is expected to grow by 31% from 2019 to 2029, according to the BLS. The need for preventing cyber attacks, hacks, and protecting sensitive data is likely to increase in the future.
The 2019/2020 Official Annual Cybersecurity Jobs Report claimed a zero unemployment rate for workers in this demanding job. The employment crisis for cybersecurity experts is expected to continue, with an estimated 3.5 million unfilled positions worldwide by 2021.
An accountant is a financial professional who is responsible for maintaining the financial records of a company or an individual. Some of the responsibilities of accountants include auditing and preparing financial statements as well as tax filing. Employment for accountants is expected to grow by 4% from 2019 to 2029.
Although there are nearly 3.1 million nurses, the projected employment growth rate is 7% from 2019 to 2029, according to the BLS. Employment growth is expected to be faster than the average when compared to other occupations due to a growing need for preventive care and demand for healthcare from the baby-boom population.
Software Developer (Applications and Systems)
This highly technical job within the Information technology industry is projected to experience employment growth of 22% from 2019 to 2029, according to the BLS. With 316,000 jobs expected to be added, the employment growth rate is likely to be far better than most jobs since the software developers will be needed as the demand for computer software increases.
Medical and Health Services Manager
Medical and Health Services Managers are projected to experience employment growth of 32% from 2019 to 2029, according to the BLS. Medical and health services managers direct and plan the business activities of healthcare providers, and with the aging baby-boom population, there’s expected to be an increased demand for healthcare services.
Industrial engineers help to design an efficient process and eliminate waste that could be costly or time consuming by integrating machinery and workers. Industrial engineer jobs are forecasted to grow by 10% from 2019 to 2029 as companies continue to look for ways to boost efficiency and lower costs.
Computer Systems Analyst
Computer systems analysts help companies operate more efficiently by designing and enhancing the computer systems and their processes. Computer systems analysts are forecasted to experience a 7% growth rate in employment from 2019 to 2029. Information technology services are expected to be in high demand in the future as companies implement cloud computing, and healthcare facilities become more technologically advanced.
Web developers create websites by designing the look and feel and technical aspects of a website. Web developers are also responsible for improving the performance, speed, and capacity of a website. Web development jobs are expected to grow by 8% from 2019 to 2029. Due to an increased demand for e-commerce and mobile devices.
Financial managers perform financial analysis and create financial reports for companies and organizations. Financial managers also are involved in developing long-term financial plans for investment activities, financial goals, and maintaining the financial health of a company. Employment for financial managers is expected to grow by 15% from 2019 to 2029 due to the high demand for risk and cash flow management.
Occupational and Physical Therapy Assistant and Aide
Occupational and physical therapist assistants and aides are responsible for assisting physical therapists with helping patients rehabilitate following an injury or illness. The responsibilities for physical therapist assistants can include helping the patient exercise, regain movement and balance, as well as pain management. The responsibilities of physical therapist aides can include managing the therapy equipment and treating a patient's wounds.
Employment growth for physical therapist assistants and aides is forecasted to grow by 29% from 2019 to 2029 due to an increase and healthcare needs as a result of an aging population.
Home Health Aide
Home health aides and personal care aides help people with their daily personal tasks, which can include bathing, dressing, laundry, and cleaning. The primary responsibilities of home health and personal care aides are to assist with their patients' daily living activities. Employment for home health and personal care aides is expected to grow by 34% from 2019 to 2029 due to the aging baby-boom generation and the resulting increased demand for home health services.
The Bottom Line
Across the country, the unemployment outlook varies by region. That said, high worker demand and low unemployment exist in the technology, 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.
U.S. Census Bureau. "Methodology."
BLS.gov. "The Employment Situation—November 2020." Table A-13 Household Data.
BLS.gov. "Information security analysts."
Cybercrime Magazine. "Cybersecurity Talent Crunch to Create 3.5 Million Unfilled Jobs Globally by 2021."
BLS.gov. "Accountants and Auditors."
BLS.gov. "Occupational Outlook Handbook Registered Nurses."
BLS.gov. "Occupational Outlook Handbook Software Developers."
BLS.gov. "Occupational Outlook Handbook Medical and Health Services Managers."
BLS.gov. "Occupational Outlook Handbook Industrial Engineers."
BLS.gov. "Occupational Outlook Handbook computer systems analysts."
BLS.gov. "Occupational Outlook Handbook Web Developers."
BLS.gov. "Occupational Outlook Handbook Financial Managers."
BLS.gov. "Occupational Outlook Handbook Physical therapist assistants and aides."
BLS.gov. "Occupational Outlook Handbook Home health aides and personal care aides."