15 Jobs That Will Shrink the Fastest Over the Next Decade

Unemployed worker
tuaindeed / Shutterstock.com

The Brookings Institution issued a report in 2019 saying that about one-quarter of all American jobs “will have experienced high exposure to automation” by 2030. That’s another way to say that robots and artificial intelligence will remove nearly 25% of jobs from the workforce.

Nearly a quarter-century ago, Jeremy Rifkin startled America with his book “The End of Work,” in which he articulated how “computers, robotics, telecommunications, and other cutting-edge technologies are fast replacing human beings in virtually every sector” of the economy.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently projected estimates on the fastest-declining occupations from 2019 to 2029, with many of them expected to decline by well over 20%, meaning hundreds of thousands of lost jobs in a decade.

Read on to check out the jobs expected to see the greatest decline by 2029.

15. Forging machine setters, operators and tenders (metal and plastic)

Worker using a forging machine
ArtSvetlana / Shutterstock.com

These workers set up, operate or tend forging machines that are used to form or shape metal or plastic parts. Despite the decline that the occupation faces nationally, it has been growing wildly in recent years in one particular state, as we reported in “The Fastest-Growing Jobs in Every State.”

Employment in 2019: 16,400 jobs

Projected employment in 2029: 13,000 jobs

Projected job decline for 2019-2029: 21.1%

Median annual wage as of 2019: $39,670

14. Postmasters and mail superintendents

Mail drop boxes
Allard One / Shutterstock.com

Employment in 2019: 13,400 jobs

Projected employment in 2029: 10,500 jobs

Projected job decline for 2019-2029: 21.9%

Median annual wage as of 2019: $76,900

13. Legal secretaries and administrative assistants

Young professional working in an office
Kzenon / Shutterstock.com

Employment in 2019: 171,800 jobs

Projected employment in 2029: 133,800 jobs

Projected job decline for 2019-2029: 22.1%

Median annual wage as of 2019: $47,300

11. Timing device assemblers and adjusters (tie)

Digital clock
korapin / Shutterstock.com

These workers do precision assembling or adjusting of timing devices that have electrical or electronic components, like digital clocks. The occupation does not include watch and clock repairers, however — they are later in this list.

Employment in 2019: 1,300 jobs

Projected employment in 2029: 1,000 jobs

Projected job decline for 2019-2029: 22.3%

Median annual wage as of 2019: $35,080

11. Manufactured building and mobile home installers (tie)

Manufactured home
Lindasj22 / Shutterstock.com

Employment in 2019: 2,900 jobs

Projected employment in 2029: 2,200 jobs

Projected job decline for 2019-2029: 22.3%

Median annual wage as of 2019: $33,890

10. Switchboard operators, including answering service

Worker in a headset
DenisProduction.com / Shutterstock.com

Employment in 2019: 69,900 jobs

Projected employment in 2029: 54,100 jobs

Projected job decline for 2019-2029: 22.5%

Median annual wage as of 2019: $30,610

9. Electronic equipment installers and repairers (motor vehicles)

kpakook / Shutterstock.com

Projected job decline for 2018-2028: 28.6%

Employment in 2019: 10,400 jobs

Projected employment in 2029: 8,000 jobs

Projected job decline for 2019-2029: 23.2%

Median annual wage as of 2019: $37,380

8. Data entry keyers

Man working in home office
G-Stock Studio / Shutterstock.com

Employment in 2019: 172,400 jobs

Projected employment in 2029: 130,000 jobs

Projected job decline for 2019-2029: 24.6%

Median annual wage as of 2019: $33,490

7. Travel agents

Travel agent
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

Employment in 2019: 82,000 jobs

Projected employment in 2029: 60,800 jobs

Projected job decline for 2019-2029: 25.9%

Median annual wage as of 2019: $40,660

6. Telephone operators

Closeup Of Happy African American Telephone Operator with Her Colleagues
Rido / Shutterstock.com

While this is only the sixth-fastest shrinking occupation nationally, it ranks as the fastest shrinking occupation of all in several particular states, as SmartAsset recently reported in “The Fastest-Disappearing Job in Each State.”

Employment in 2019: 5,000 jobs

Projected employment in 2029: 3,600 jobs

Projected job decline for 2019-2029: 27.9%

Median annual wage as of 2019: $35,750

5. Cutters and trimmers (hand)

Worraket / Shutterstock.com

These workers use handheld tools to cut and trim various manufactured items — from fabric and carpet to stone and glass.

Employment in 2019: 9,800 jobs

Projected employment in 2029: 6,900 jobs

Projected job decline for 2019-2029: 29.9%

Median annual wage as of 2019: $30,200

4. Watch and clock repairers

Worker repairing a watch
Daniel Wiedemann / Shutterstock.com

Employment in 2019: 3,200 jobs

Projected employment in 2029: 2,100 jobs

Projected job decline for 2019-2029: 32.3%

Median annual wage as of 2019: $42,520

3. Nuclear power reactor operators

Nuclear power plant tech
Vladimir Mulder / Shutterstock.com

Employment in 2019: 5,300 jobs

Projected employment in 2029: 3,400 jobs

Projected job decline for 2019-2029: 35.7%

Median annual wage as of 2019: $100,530

2. Parking enforcement workers

Misunseo / Shutterstock.com

Employment in 2019: 8,100 jobs

Projected employment in 2029: 5,200 jobs

Projected job decline for 2019-2029: 36.2%

Median annual wage as of 2019: $40,920

1. Word processors and typists

keyboard
CHALITSA HONGTONG / Shutterstock.com

Employment in 2019: 52,700 jobs

Projected employment in 2029: 33,500 jobs

Projected job decline for 2019-2029: 36.4%

Median annual wage as of 2019: $40,340

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
7 Ways to Save Money Without Trying
7 Ways to Save Money Without Trying

Saving money doesn’t always mean drudgery and sacrifice. These tools make it easy — sometimes even fun.

Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them
Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them

Here’s how to earn cash as you give new life to these unwanted items.

9 Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Look Expensive
9 Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Look Expensive

These products from Amazon add elegance to your home without the expense.

Don’t Pay for These 10 Things: They Are Free With a Library Card
Don’t Pay for These 10 Things: They Are Free With a Library Card

Before you spend another dollar on items and services like these, check with your public library.

3 Costly Social Security Mistakes That Women Make
3 Costly Social Security Mistakes That Women Make

Women face unique challenges when planning for retirement and making these mistakes can result in a skimpier retirement.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles
The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles

One automaker takes half the spots on a list of the longest-lasting vehicles.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.