The Middle-Wage Jobs at Greatest Risk of Disappearing

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Over the next five years, a host of occupations are expected to lose jobs. Find out which careers will be in trouble.

The number of U.S. jobs is expected to increase by more than 7.2 million over the next five years, according to a recent analysis.

Whether that’s good news or bad news for you depends on your occupation, however, according to the findings of a study by CareerBuilder and Emsi Research.

While the numbers of high- and low-wage jobs are expected to increase by 5 percent between 2016 and 2021, the number of middle-wage jobs is expected to increase by just 3 percent over the same period.

Additionally, the study found that 173 occupations are expected to lose jobs over the next five years — and 61 percent of them are middle-wage jobs.

As Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of “The Talent Equation,” puts it:

“The U.S. is facing a sustained trend of declining middle-wage employment that has serious implications not only for workers, but for the economy overall. If we can’t find a way to re-skill and up-skill workers at scale, middle-wage workers will become increasingly susceptible to unemployment or will have to move into lower-paying roles…”

CareerBuilder and Emsi, an employment analytics company owned by CareerBuilder, also examined low-, middle- and high-wage occupations to determine which occupations within those three categories are expected to grow and shrink the most over the next five years. The results follow.

High-wage occupations ($21.14/hour or more)

Growing

  • Software developers, applications: Projected to grow 12 percent
  • Computer systems analysts: 12 percent
  • Market research analysts and marketing specialists: 11 percent

Declining

  • Postal Service mail carriers: Projected to decline 8 percent
  • Reporters and correspondents: 7 percent
  • Construction managers: 5 percent

Middle-wage jobs ($13.84 to $21.13/hour)

Growing

  • Medical assistants: 11 percent
  • Customer service representatives: 6 percent
  • Maintenance and repair workers: 5 percent

Declining

  • Printing press operators: 9 percent
  • Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers: 7 percent
  • Travel agents: 6 percent

Low-wage jobs ($13.83/hour or less)

Growing

  • Home health aides: 19 percent
  • Cooks, restaurant: 9 percent
  • Nursing assistants: 9 percent

Declining

  • Door-to-door sales workers, news and street vendors: 18 percent
  • Sewing machine operators: 14 percent
  • Floral designers: 10 percent

What’s your take on these findings? Why do you think middle-wage jobs are more at risk? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

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