The Middle-Wage Jobs at Greatest Risk of Disappearing

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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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