With the unemployment rate stubbornly hovering above 9%, I sometimes make the mistake of simplifying the situation by saying to myself “about 1 out of 10 people I know should be unemployed, statistically speaking”. As it turns out, of the hundreds of people I know somewhat closely, I can think of only 2 that have been laid off, and only 1 is presently unemployed. So, it’s much more granular than a flat 9.x % of Americans out of work.
There’s widely publicized data (bls.gov) showing unemployment is quite a bit lower for advanced degrees, low for college degrees, high for highschool only and very high for less than high-school. What’s especially instructive though is the data assembled by wsj.com showing what the unemployment rate and trends look like by profession. (source)
This data could be used to either see what your profession looks like at large, or perhaps if you’ve always been considering a career change and find that your desired profession has a 13% unemployment rate right now, you may want to reconsider. Some trends that jumped out at me were the following:
Professions with Very Low Unemployment:
- Management Occupations (various)
- Healthcare (very low! at 2.5%)
- First Line Supervisors
- Teachers and Post-Secondary Teachers
Professions with Very High Unemployment:
- Transportation and Materials Movement
- Servers and Cooks
- Stock Clerks and Order Fillers
Any Surprises? Opinions?