A recession, outsourcing, and foreign competition aren't the only reasons we're losing jobs. Dramatic advancements in technology and movements like lean manufacturing and 6 Sigma have more than doubled worker productivity since 1970.
Our manufacturing industry has progressed from making simple household appliances, cars and textiles to producing cutting-edge medical technologies, life-saving medicines and light-speed computer processors with worldwide demand.
The result is an economy that has become leaner and meaner in order to become more competitive and efficient. Cutbacks and downsizings have been painful for millions of people. Unfortunately the pain will continue for the foreseeable future, especially for workers in 10 middle class jobs. These middle-class professions may soon face the fate of the milk man, the telegraph operator, the stagecoach driver and the switchboard operator, joining them in obsolete-job heaven.
Machinists: Job vacancies for machinists will shrink by 5% but they will likely still exist, because they require a very specialized skillset to fill the position.
Front-Line Supervisors/Managers of Production and Operators: Without assembly line workers, there are fewer workers to supervise.
Farmers and Ranchers: Farmers and ranchers will see the largest total number of job losses of any profession by 2018.
Computer Operators: Nearly one in five of the computer operators that are around today will move out of the profession in the next seven years.
Paper Goods Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders: Expect one in five of these workers to find another profession in the next few years.
Desktop Publishers: Only 20,400 desktop publishers are expected to remain employed in 2018, a precipitous drop of 23%.
Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers: Expect wages to decline by a whopping 48% in this industry and the number of patternmakers dwindling to a mere 6,000 in the next few years, a decline of 27%.
Wellhead pumpers: Only 13,300 wellhead pumpers will be pumping oil by 2018, a decline of 28%.
Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors and Processing Machine Operators: Nearly one-third of the current Postal Mail Sorters, Processors, and PM Operators in today’s work force will not be working in that profession by 2018, a decline of 30%.
Semiconductors Processors: One in three semiconductor processors will be obsolete by 2018, a decline of 32%, the fastest decline of any position on the list.
If you are unemployeed but looking to get hired in one of these 10 jobs, good luck. You will have lots of competition and opportunities will be less. If you are employed, be careful. Keep your eyes and ears open for future trends and job opportunities. All indicators point to further cutbacks in these positions with several jobs being eliminated altogether.
Source: Investing Answers