Is your job next on the chopping block? | iStock.com
If You are a Middle-Class Worker at These Jobs, You Will Get Fired Soon
Unemployment mightِ beِ atِ a 10-year low, butِ the job market isn’t whatِ itِ was beforeِ the recession.
Many ofِ the middle-class jobs Americans usedِ toِ rely onِ to getِ byِ have beenِ replaced byِ those inِ low-paying industries, suchِ asِ food service andِ home health care, a 2016 Wall Street Journal analysis found.
Though theِ job market isِ expected toِ grow byِ 6.5% betweenِ 2014 andِ 2024, according toِ data fromِ the Bureau ofِ Labor Statistics, theِ growth won’t beِ shared equally across allِ industries.
15. Executive secretaries
The days ofِ everyِ mid-level office worker havingِ a dedicated secretary areِ long gone.
Yet higher-level execs haveِ retained theirِ secretaries andِ executive assistants, whoِ helpِ arrange travel, manage correspondence, andِ plan meetings, among otherِ duties.
Unfortunately, theِ number ofِ jobs inِ this field isِ expected toِ fall byِ 44,600 byِ 2024, a 5.7% decline.
Companies are hiring fewer executive secretaries than in the past. | iStock.com/gabyjalbert
14. Bill collectors
You’d thinkِ theِ oneِ silver lining toِ theِ crushing mountain ofِ debt Americans haveِ racked upِ would beِ a bevy ofِ jobs forِ bill collectors.
Despite ourِ spendthrift ways, jobs forِ bill andِ account collectors areِ expected toِ fall byِ 19,600 byِ 2024.
Industry consolidation andِ automation areِ to blame forِ the decline inِ jobs, according toِ theِ statistics bureau.
13. Bank tellers
When wasِ theِ lastِ time youِ waited inِ line toِ talk toِ a teller atِ your bank.
ATMs andِ online banking haveِ eliminated manyِ of theِ functions bank tellers usedِ toِ perform.
While thereِ will stillِ beِ anِ estimated 480,500 people working asِ tellers inِ 2024, that’s significantly fewerِ than theِ 520,500 people currentlyِ working inِ this field.
12. Bookkeeping and accounting clerks
Overdue bills | iStock.com
A job asِ a bookkeeping orِ accounting clerk usedِ toِ beِ a solid career choice forِ people withoutِ a four-year college degree.
Yet job opportunities inِ this field areِ drying up, withِ nearlyِ 150,000 jobs expected toِ vanish byِ 2024, according toِ theِ statistics bureau.
Improvements inِ software haveِ automated manyِ of theِ tasks bookkeepers andِ accounting clerks onceِ hadِ to doِ manually.
11. Insurance underwriters
Ever beenِ denied insurance coverage orِ offered a rate youِ felt wasِ way tooِ high.
Blame anِ insurance underwriter, theِ person whoseِ job itِ isِ to evaluate insurance applications andِ determine premiums andِ coverage.
As withِ manyِ of theِ jobs onِ this list, underwriters areِ falling victim toِ automation.
10. Home economics teachers
Citibank branch | Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
As recentlyِ asِ 2002, aboutِ 5.5 million high school students wereِ enrolled inِ a home economics courseِ (or “family andِ consumer science,” asِ it’s nowِ officially known).
By 2012, thatِ number hadِ fallen toِ justِ 3.5 million.
The number ofِ jobs forِ people willingِ toِ teach young people aboutِ cooking, budgeting, andِ other life skills isِ expected toِ continue toِ shrink.
9. Travel agents
Now thatِ you canِ book a flight, hotel, andِ activities online inِ a matter ofِ minutes, fewerِ Americans feel theِ needِ to call a travel agent whenِ planning a vacation.
The industry hasِ alreadyِ shrunk considerably, fromِ 34,000 retail travel locations inِ the 1990s toِ 13,000 byِ 2013, according toِ CNN, andِ more contraction isِ on theِ horizon.
But travel agents whoِ work withِ luxury andِ corporate travelers orِ who specialize inِ booking specialty trips willِ likelyِ still haveِ a niche.
8. Printing workers
A bookkeeper at work | iStock.com
As people shun paper inِ favor ofِ digital options, jobs inِ the printing industry haveِ declined.
In Illinois alone, a center ofِ the printing industry, theِ number ofِ jobs fell byِ 45% betweenِ 2001 andِ 2013, according toِ theِ Crain’s.
Jobs inِ the printing industry willِ continue toِ decline, falling byِ 14% byِ 2024.
7. Parking enforcement workers
Parking enforcement workers earn anِ average salary ofِ nearlyِ $38,000 for patrolling city streets andِ issuing tickets toِ illegally parked cars.
In 2014, aboutِ 9,400 people worked inِ parking enforcement.
By 2024, theirِ ranks willِ shrink byِ 2,000 toِ 7,400.
6. Manufacturing and factory jobs
Manufacturing jobs onceِ provided a ladder toِ theِ middle class forِ millions ofِ Americans, butِ opportunities forِ a lifetime career onِ the assembly line haveِ beenِ declining forِ years due toِ technological changesِ andِ outsourcing.
The statistics bureau providesِ data forِ a variety ofِ manufacturing andِ factory jobs, andِ the outlook isِ bleak forِ nearly allِ of them.
The number ofِ forging machine setters, operators, andِ tenders willِ shrink byِ 21% byِ 2024.
5. Watch repairers
Cellphones haveِ replaced watches forِ many people, whichِ means lessِ demand forِ watch repair.
There areِ just 2,700 watch repairers inِ the U.S., according toِ theِ Bureau ofِ Labor Statistics.
By 2024, thereِ will beِ only 2,000, a drop ofِ aboutِ 26%.
4. Postal service workers
Postal Service wasِ onceِ a route toِ theِ middle class forِ many Americans — butِ no more. The number ofِ people working asِ letter sorters, mail sorters, andِ clerks hasِ plummeted fromِ 797,795 inِ 1999 toِ 508,908 inِ 2016. Employment atِ the USPS isِ expect toِ drop anotherِ 28% byِ 2024 toِ a littleِ lessِ than 350,000, aboutِ the number ofِ employees theِ postal service hadِ in theِ late 1940s andِ early 1950s.
3. Textile workers
Jobs inِ the textile industry don’t usuallyِ pay big bucks, butِ they’ve beenِ a reliable career option forِ people withoutِ anِ education beyondِ high school, withِ salaries ranging fromِ aboutِ $21,000 annually forِ dry cleaning workers toِ nearlyِ $40,000 forِ pattern-makers. Employment forِ sewing machine operators couldِ decline byِ 27% byِ 2024, a loss ofِ 42,000 jobs. Employment forِ shoe repairers willِ fall byِ 15%, andِ the number ofِ tailors andِ dressmakers willِ drop byِ 9%.
2. Telephone operators
Pre-Google andِ Siri, locating a telephone number oftenِ meant dialing 0 orِ 411. Now, telephone operators, whoِ alsoِ help disabled callers andِ assist withِ emergency calls whenِ you can’t reach 911, areِ a dying breed. In 2014, thereِ were aboutِ 13,100 telephone operators.
1. Locomotive firers
Locomotive firers — sometimesِ called assistant engineers — monitor equipment, watch forِ train signals, andِ look outِ forِ obstacles onِ the tracks. Back whenِ freight trains ran withِ five-person crews, theِ job wasِ moreِ common. But asِ railroad companies haveِ scaled backِ to two- orِ three-person crews, locomotive firer jobs haveِ allِ but disappeared.