Unemployment rate for petroleum engineers is .06%.
Petroleum engineers, detective supervisors, and animal breeders all have one thing in common. They are extremely employable. They’re among the occupations with the lowest jobless rates over the last two years along with dentists and nuclear engineers, according to the Wall Street Journal’s study of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
BLS measures the unemployment rate for more than 500 job categories, but there’s some wild variation from year to year for some of them, due to (probably) small sample sizes.* So to build a list of the jobs with the lowest and highest unemployment rates, I focused on occupations that didn’t see implausibly wild swings between 2011 and 2012.
These are the 13 jobs with measured unemployment rates under 2.0% in both 2011 and 2012, listed by their ’12 rate. Three are types of doctors, and three are types of engineers.
And here are the eight jobs with unemployment rates over 20% in both 2011 and 2012, listed by their ’12 rate. Five are in, or related to, home construction.
*For example, in 2011 “furniture finishers” reported an unemployment rate under 1.0%, but in 2012, 27% suddenly didn’t have a job. Meanwhile, 25% of “woodworking machine setters” were looking for a job in 2011, but in 2012, the occupation’s unemployment rate plummeted to 3%. It is possible that 2012 saw a miraculous boom in specifically **unfinished** woodcraft that explains both numbers, but it’s more plausible that, since there aren’t many woodworking machine setters or furniture finishers in the United States, a few respondents’ answers swung the results.
Photo credit: Petroleum Engineering Resources
Via The Atlantic