Is Your Occupation Dying?

Postal Sorting

You may have noticed that there are fewer people working at reception desks, in administrative positions, at checkout counters, and in factories, and more computers are popping up in their place. Self-service check-out, and computers and robots that can do everything from sort mail to assemble a car, have all but eliminated millions of jobs around the world—and the trend is expected to continue.

A whopping  300,000 administrative jobs alone disappeared between 2004-2009 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it projects “continued contraction throughout the next decade.” File clerk positions are expected to decline 23 percent, and according to a recent Forbes article, technology has put postal service mail sorters on the chopping block as well. After losing nearly 57,000 jobs between 2004 and 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a further 30 percent decline in this occupation by 2018.

“The kinds of jobs that are disappearing are the jobs that pay really well (for) relatively unskilled workers,” says Harry Holzer, Ph.D., Georgetown University economist and co-author of “Where Are All The Good Jobs Going.” He lists manufacturing jobs as a leading example, saying that well-paid assembly jobs that require modest training and only a high school diploma or less are a thing of the past.

So where did all the good jobs go? “The combination of technological advancement and off-shoring has shrunk these jobs,” says Holzer.

The following list represents only a few of the world’s dying occupations. Many more are expected to kick the bucket in the coming years.

-Computer Operators: declined by 31% from 2004-2009

-Radio Operators: declined by 43% from 2004-2009

-Carpenters: declined by 17% from 2004-2009

-Stage Performers: declined by 61% from 2004-2009

-Holistic Healers: declined by 44% from 2004-2009

-Telemarketers: 15% decline by 2018

-Door-To-Door Salespeople: 11% decline by 2018

-Photo Processors: 24% decline by 2018

-Seamstress: 34% decline by 2018


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