During this past election cycle, there was a lot of concern about the loss of manufacturing jobs, despite a strong economy. In fact, there has been a real decline in factory jobs over the last couple of decades due to factors like automation and competition from other countries. But it’s also important to know that the job market in the U.S. has always shifted over time. And the good news is that, at least since the Industrial Revolution, technology actually creates more jobs than it destroys. Workers are wise to attempt to understand these shifts so that they can anticipate them and make decisions accordingly.
A new report from CareerCast explores the most endangered jobs of 2016. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerCast identifies the jobs most likely to decline over the course of the next eight years. Let’s take a closer look at the top five jobs from the list:
Mail carrier is currently the most endangered job. According to the report, BLS data estimates a 28 percent decline over the course of the next eight years. That adds up to a 136,000-employee loss in the field by 2024. Modern technology has changed these jobs in several ways. Sorting and processing work can now be done by machines rather than postal workers. Also, letter-writing as a form of communication is losing favor to faster processes like emailing and texting.
The role technology plays in our lives has also changed the market for typists and word processors for some time. Clerical work, in general, has been absorbed into other administrative job descriptions in recent years. Research has indicated since as early as 1985 that automation impacted these roles. Now, it’s estimated that 18 percent of these jobs that exist today will be gone by 2024.
It might be easiest to see the role that automation plays in the decline of meter-reader jobs. You may have even noticed in your own neighborhood that many utility companies are assessing use remotely these days rather than sending a worker. Over the course of the next eight years, 15 percent of the current jobs will likely disappear.
Disc jockeys aren’t just being replaced by automated preset playlist technology. They’re also feeling the impact of the decline in radio listenership. At least in a traditional sense, folks aren’t listening to the radio like they used to. Podcasts and online radio listenership may be on the rise, but this industry is definitely changing the way it operates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts an 11 percent decline by 2024.
According to the report, these jobs are impacted by a couple of factors. First, online shopping options are moving consumers away from brick-and-mortar shops. Also, the outsourcing of manufacturing work is impacting the profession. Over the course of the next eight years, the BLS estimates an 11 percent decline in these jobs.
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