Where is the employment world heading?
It’s a tough time, we all know the recession has hit most countries pretty hard but we must take into account some industries have been hit harder than others. I’m going to give you a brief rundown on which occupations are expected to lose workers within the next 8 – 10 years.
I highlight the expected because times change fast, technology develops quicker than we can understand how they work and industries do occasionally become rejuvenated.
With the advent of Internet newspapers and especially broadsheets, there has been a serious decline in readership with newspapers but certain media publishing companies have ran with the times, publishing their articles on their websites for a small paid subscription and providing real-time news feeds.
With such fluctuation in the employment market this makes for an unpredictable future where learning transferable skills (skills that can be passed from one job to another quite different job) becomes more important. For those of you working in these industries, it’s even more critical for you not to be passive in your job roles.
So, let’s get to it, of the top 5 jobs that will lose most workers in future:
5) Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators and Gaugers (expected decline of -14.0%)
Petroleum Pump System Operators handle the machinery used in processing and refining petroleum. Out of the top declining industries in this section, this holds the highest average income at around $60,000 per year. This decline could be related to a variety of factors most so towards fewer domestic wells and refineries and the advancement of new equipment requiring up to date skills and the knowledge of new processes on excavation.
It should also be noted the pressure and reliance on more renewable energy resources that is expected to increase in future forcing more operators out of jobs but, on a positive note, possibly into new types of jobs.
4) Prepress Technicians and Workers (-15.9%)
A prepress technician converts designed images and text into publication through the use of printing machines and presses. The major change in this industry is the ability for people to now create and print finished pages on their own desktop computer.
Companies in-house and agencies such as public relations and graphic design firms can now take this task on themselves, saving significant costs. Any highly skilled prepress technicians may also be hired in-house cutting out the middleman.
We all have images of those old printing presses, stamping hard away day and night to produce books, magazines and newspapers but the use of digitalized printing at quick fire speed has pushed this industry into decline.
This has no signs of stopping as printing becomes quicker and more highly defined. That’s not to say it will collapse into oblivion anytime soon. The newspaper industry still relies on the printing press to churn out millions upon millions of papers daily to readers of all ages and interests.
3) Semiconductor Processors (-17.9%)
Although certain technology sectors are booming, such as smart phones and tablets, the actual process of making microchips is changing. The need for humans to create processors and microchips is becoming replaced with robots; in addition, the actual production process is assigned to developing countries. It’s cheaper and much more efficient.
One of the most important factors going into the production of semiconductors and other related chips is the ability to keep the room clean at all times. This slows down production and requires less workers, “too many cooks spoil the broth”, fits this occupation nicely. That’s not to say employment is all bleak in this sector, the actual design process is still predominantly in the USA and the desire to innovate is as strong as ever.
2) Sewing Machine Operators (-25.8%), Textile, Knitting and Weaving Machine Setter, Operators and Tenders (-18.2%)
I remember my grandma’s knitting, a new wooly hat for summer and a pair of handcrafted shorts for winter. She had a great sense of humor but she also held a really powerful skill, a skill that is now fading into the future.
The apparel industry in the USA has declined in line with the movement of cheaper labor overseas, especially China and Mexico. This is accentuated by the fact that the import of garments from these countries is duty-free.
It should also be noted there has been difficulty developing the automated equipment needed to make clothes for a mass market and keeping up with seasonal trends that place demands on this machinery to adapt if needed.
With the widening effect of clothing manufacturing in developing nations it is no surprise quality control has reduced, but does the consumer care that much?
Obviously some consumers do, ad-hoc, custom designers and tailors who produce clothing for more niche markets; continue to hold a stable employment outlook even if a little lower in workforce numbers.
1) Postal Mail Sorters (-48.5%), Postal Service Clerks (-48.2%) and Postmasters and Mail Superintendents (-27.8%)
If you’re curious of what the general day-to-day responsibilities of a Mail Room Supervisor entails then take a look at the future for indication. The United States Postal Service (USPS), employing over 8 million personnel and handling over $1 trillion per years has been hit hard by consumer disinterest and will feel it harder in future. The demand for first class mail has reduced significantly shaped by a change in consumer habits and technology changes, not only has e-mail became the dominant form of communication it surpasses delivery time of even the quickest first class mail, by every second.
E-commerce shopping is growing year-on-year with more and more retailers using their own private delivery networks and fleets to deliver what you want in quick-time. It’s also noticeable that music consumption has changed, when was the last time you bought a CD? How do you find music now? I imagine it doesn’t involve delivery from the postal service anymore.
Also to make matters worse, the USPS is bleeding money away at the rate of $36 million per day and they are in debt, serious debt. Unlike the auto-industry there’s no hope of a government bailout any time soon, they’re also restricted on diversification. Want to deal with your bank issues at the post office like in other countries? It’s not allowed. Looking for insurance? Again, the USPS is not allowed to provide it.
And that’s just the financials; it’s becoming widely known that mental illness is also most likely in this occupation, if anybody is aware of the term “going postal”, as in “Timmy had a bad day and now he’s going postal, get out!” The movement of thousands of continuous non-stop mail everyday in usually dark rooms really can’t be too great for the psyche.
Those are the top 5, but here are some other notable industries:
Farming, ranching and other agriculture managers
Agriculture is a huge industry in the USA ranging from crop farms to livestock with approximately 80% self-employed in sometimes hazardous conditions. There is an expected 8% decrease in agricultural managers by 2020. That’swhy it’s important to have an Agriculture resume that stands the test of time.
Some may believe we’re becoming less hungry to the point there’s not enough demand, this is not the case though. The industry is declining as farms become consolidated by larger corporations and the ability to produce food with fewer workers, and cheaper labor especially in heavily subsidized areas such as corn, force workers out of the market.
This may be one industry most of you will be cheering at a decline. It’s becoming a stark realization that a door-to-door sale just doesn’t provide the return on investment that it used to. Consumers are becoming savvier; their knowledge of products and price comparison websites has allowed them to make informed choices without the high pressure spiel that comes along with a door-to-door salesperson.
In fact, this becomes a worse occupation to go into when you consider in the current climate buying decisions become bootstrapped due to economic constraints and in future the rise of e-commerce will put further pressure on this industry.
Fast food cooks
Even if the USA has an approximate 30% obesity rate right now, people are becoming more health obsessed. Beef scares, salmonella risks and marketing to children, the list of problems for the fast food industry just seem to accumulate.
So there you have it, 5 jobs that are expected to see workforce declines. Make sure you’re prepared and have the skills necessary to move jobs if needed!