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The 30 jobs with the best (and worst) job security

24/7 Wall St. Logo By Sam Stebbins of 24/7 Wall St. | Slide 1 of 63: Since hitting 10.0% in October 2009 -- its highest level in over two and a half decades --the unemployment rate has been steadily declining in the United States. Today, the unemployment rate sits at a healthy 4.1%. While much of the American workforce now has an easier time finding a job than they did nine years ago, there are dozens of jobs with unemployment rates reminiscent of those in the immediate wake of the Great Recession.Due to a range of factors, including broad economic forces related to globalization and technological advances, certain jobs are becoming less secure. Today’s job market is more competitive than it was in decades past, and workers with higher educational attainment and more specialized skills are rewarded.Not only are high-skill workers with higher educational attainment more likely to earn higher wages, but also they are far less likely to face the prospect of unemployment. For a number of highly specialized occupations, including tax examiners, dental hygienists, and statisticians, unemployment rates are only a fraction of a percentage point. Meanwhile, a number of lower-skilled occupations face the opposite extreme. Occupations such as dishwashers, produce sorters, and telemarketers have unemployment rates well into the double digits.24/7 Wall St. reviewed unemployment rates by occupation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to identify the workers with the best and worst job security. The 30 jobs with the highest job security have unemployment rates below 1.0%, while the 30 jobs with the lowest job security have unemployment rates of 7.5% or above.Perhaps the starkest difference between occupations with high job security and those with relatively low job security is the education level typically required for the position. The increasingly competitive U.S. job market has put a premium on highly specialized skills. Of the jobs with the highest job security for which education data is available, two thirds require some formal post-secondary education -- including many that require a master’s degree or a doctorate.Meanwhile, all but one of the jobs with low job security for which education data is available require at most a high school diploma, and often not even that.While occupations with high job security more often than not have low unemployment rates due to their highly specialized nature, the reasons for the high unemployment rates among the jobs with the lowest job security are more varied.One of the most common underlying causes of high unemployment is the high turnover rate in some of these occupations. Occupations like dishwashers and cashiers are often just a stepping stone in a young adult’s career. Other jobs, like grounds maintenance workers, material movers, and agricultural workers often report high turnover due to their highly physical nature.In other cases, high unemployment rates are attributable to a range of broader market forces, such as technological advances and an oversaturation of workers.No matter the cause, the low educational requirement in industries with high unemployment means workers are plentiful and often easily replaceable.Perhaps not surprisingly, occupations with the best job security also tend to provide greater financial compensation. In over half of the jobs with unemployment rates below 1%, the typical worker earns over $50,000 a year. In two of the jobs with the lowest unemployment rates, the median annual wage tops $100,0000.Conversely, none of the jobs with the highest unemployment rates have a median annual wage exceeding $50,000. In the majority of jobs with poor job security, the typical worker earns less than $30,000 per year.Jobs with better job security are also more likely to remain in high demand in the coming years. According the the BLS, total employment in the United States is projected to rise by 7.0% between 2016 and 2026. Of the 24 jobs with the best job security and for which employment growth projections are available, 15 either match or exceed the 7.0% total job growth expectations -- including 10 with double digit projected growth and four in which employment is projected to increase by over 20%.Ten-year employment growth projections are lower than 7.0% in the majority of occupations with the highest unemployment rates.

Economic forces and technology are impacting many jobs

Since hitting 10.0% in October 2009 -- its highest level in over two and a half decades --
the unemployment rate has been steadily declining in the United States. Today, the unemployment rate sits at a healthy 4.1%. While much of the American workforce now has an easier time finding a job than they did nine years ago, there are dozens of jobs with unemployment rates reminiscent of those in the immediate wake of the Great Recession.

Due to a range of factors, including broad economic forces related to globalization and technological advances, certain jobs are becoming less secure. Today’s job market is more competitive than it was in decades past, and workers with higher educational attainment and more specialized skills are rewarded.

Not only are high-skill workers with higher educational attainment more likely to earn higher wages, but also they are far less likely to face the prospect of unemployment. For a number of highly specialized occupations, including tax examiners, dental hygienists, and statisticians, unemployment rates are only a fraction of a percentage point. Meanwhile, a number of lower-skilled occupations face the opposite extreme. Occupations such as dishwashers, produce sorters, and telemarketers have unemployment rates well into the double digits.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed unemployment rates by occupation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to identify the workers with the best and worst job security. The 30 jobs with the highest job security have unemployment rates below 1.0%, while the 30 jobs with the lowest job security have unemployment rates of 7.5% or above.

Perhaps the starkest difference between occupations with high job security and those with relatively low job security is the education level typically required for the position. The increasingly competitive U.S. job market has put a premium on highly specialized skills. Of the jobs with the highest job security for which education data is available, two thirds require some formal post-secondary education -- including many that require a master’s degree or a doctorate.

Meanwhile, all but one of the jobs with low job security for which education data is available require at most a high school diploma, and often not even that.

Click ahead to see the 30 jobs with the best job security, followed by 30 jobs with the worst.

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