The 5 Fastest Shrinking Jobs

If you are just starting out or looking to make a career change, it is probably best to avoid industries that appear to be on the decline. This is especially true for positions that require an investment of time and money, either for further education or specialty training.  Unless a position is really your dream career it isn’t going to make long-term sense to dive into a dying industry. Below, we outline five of the fastest shrinking jobs in the United States. It’s still possible to get work in these fields, of course, but you may find that other careers are far more promising. 

Postal Workers

Snail mail? Who uses snail mail? Just kidding – though you’ve probably noticed the increased dependency on technology when it comes to staying in contact with loved ones, paying bills and shopping. It is fast, convenient, and efficient to automate bill payments, utilize electronic statements, and have your purchases shipped to you. 

Not surprisingly, the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that postal jobs are on the decline. More specifically, postal service worker positions will be cut by about 48 percent by the year 2020, and postmaster jobs will decline by nearly 28 percent. However, while mailing letters and documents are on the decline, package delivery is a booming industry. Postal workers will still be needed, but perhaps their roles will change. It is still a career option for those who like to have an active, all-weather job.

Farmers and Ranchers

According to the American Farmland Trust, most states – 34 of them – had a reduction in available farmland, and the overall number of acres of farmland had a two-percent nationwide drop. The reason for this is the rise of factory farms consolidating traditional family farms under one umbrella, while the productivity of farming operations has increased. That means fewer farmers and ranchers are needed – there are fewer jobs, due to technological improvements.

But the good news is that there will still be some need for a new generation of farmers as the current ones retire; in addition, there are opportunities for small farmers to join the expanding organic and “buy local” movements. If you’re passionate about agriculture, you might have a better chance in this industry if you are willing to keep up with the latest farming technologies and get a 2- or 4-year degree in this field. And, of course, if you like an active job that lets you enjoy the great outdoors, many farms are still hiring hard workers!

Travel Agents

Ah, the wonders of technology! Thanks to the internet, everyone can now be their own travel agent; with online travel booking sites (there are so many!), it is relatively easy to plan a trip on your own. These websites help people to compare prices and book vacation packages with the discounts that used to only be available to the pros. According to Forbes, the industry is expecting a 12% decline in available jobs between now and 2026.

However, savvy travel agents are rebranding themselves as “travel advisors”, or travel experts that can plan trips down to the tiniest detail – saving their clients wasted time, money, and frustration. So, while the profession continues to shrink, there are some niche areas that will probably continue to utilize professional travel agents (such as corporations, student travel, retirees or luxury travelers, etc.)

Data Entry Workers

According to CNBC, by 2026, data entry positions will decline by about 21 percent. This is another casualty of technology since software programs can now do the job of the typical data entry worker. Similarly, typists are not relied on as much because the majority of people have their own computers, and can enter their own data. If you want to work in these types of positions, you are advised to have a few different skills that make you more valuable to employers. This means you should combine data entry, proofreading, editing, and telephone skills so you can apply for more advanced positions. 

Foundry Mold and Core Makers

Foundry mold and core makers create the molds used to produce metal castings. Automation is making this job obsolete; by 2026, CNBC projects a 24 percent overall job loss in the field. Besides automation, many manufacturers have offshored production, taking advantage of cheaper labor markets overseas. Due to low demand, it may be wise to avoid this type of position or begin honing skills to move into another labor market, if you currently work in the industry.

If you’re just starting your adult career path, consider carefully the time and monetary investments in the skills and education you need for your desired position. Avoiding the fastest shrinking jobs may help you enjoy a more secure financial future! Your time might be better spent researching jobs/careers with stable or higher expected growth rates (such as healthcare). You can search for them all at Simply Hired!

Article Updated from the Original on June 1, 2019