Machines are also taking over one of the largest job categories: office and administrative support workers. About 300,000 administrative jobs disappeared in the five years before 2009, and the BLS projects continued contraction throughout the next decade. File clerk positions, for example, are expected to decline 23%.
“Word processing, voicemail and the Internet make it easier for skilled professionals to do [clerical work] themselves,” says Holzer. “Employers are under pressure. If they can do this work more efficiently, they will.”
Advanced technology has wiped out many other jobs that will soon conjure only nostalgia. It seems that Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” has become a reality. With the rise of television and Internet marketing, door-to-door sales jobs contracted by 40% in the last five years for which data is available, and telemarketer positions declined by 25%.
Ultimately, for those looking for job stability, “the lesson is to do something that involves human contact,” says Shatkin. He advises that workers seek jobs that are in demand and have to be completed by a person, rather than a machine.
Top Dead or Dying Career Paths
Postal Service Mail Sorters
Office and Administrative Support Workers