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It’s Endgame for These Top 10 Jobs

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on May 10, 2019 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights, Job Search Tips, Corporate Support, IT, Candidate, Accounting and Finance, Legal and Compliance

Jobs on the decline have professionals scrambling for available positions that may require continually more stringent requirements for dwindling pay. One of the hardest hit industries is telemarketing.

For many years, telemarketers have faced difficulty when looking for steady work. The story here is not new, but the trend is growing. Many jobs are being outsourced to foreign workers overseas or automated. Another trigger for the decline is the federal do-not-call registry, which limits the number of households cold callers can reach. This is due to the opt-out option that allows consumers to have their information scrubbed out of contact lists. The latest information available from the federal government suggests there are half as many U.S. telemarketers then ten years ago--meaning 181,000 jobs have disappeared.

Telemarketing is just one industry that's lost jobs to automation. Other workers impacted include file clerks, data entry workers, and postal office sorters. These sectors have lost a considerable percentage of workers in the past decade. Rapid downsizing may impact various areas of the country in different ways. Government data available through the Labor Department's Occupational Employment Statistics identifies declining occupations and which ones have declined fastest in the past ten years.

Here are the ten occupations with the greatest job losses from 2008 through 2018. Industries with fewer than 100,000 are not included in this analysis.

1. Telemarketers


The job decline for telemarketing jobs was 52%. Telemarketing jobs experienced the steepest cuts over the 10-year period. Most of the remaining jobs are in mainly low-wage positions in business support services. In order to determine where to find the remaining jobs, the concentration of the industry in each metro was compared to the national percentages.

Six cities had five times the national rate for the percentage of telemarketers hired and employed. These cities include Dayton, Ohio; Canton, Ohio; Idaho Falls, Idaho; El Paso, Texas; San Antonio, Texas, and Youngstown, Ohio.

Northeastern Ohio hosts many large call centers. Therefore, in the Canton and Youngstown areas, the rate of employment for telemarketer is seven times the U.S. average. Texas is also a hotspot due to several large call centers in the named cities.

2. File Clerks

File clerk positions declined by 46% over the 10-year period examined. File clerks are in another fading profession due to automation accompanied by a shift away from paper records to electronic archives.

About 110,000 file clerks had jobs throughout the country in 2018. This is almost half those employed in this job in the previous decade. Industries hiring the greatest number of file clerks include local governments, legal services, and physicians’ offices.

Remaining file clerk jobs are spread out, and the regional variances aren't as pronounced as other occupations. However, some regions have a higher percentage or number of file clerk positions. These cities include Salt Lake City, Jacksonville, FL, and Miami--all of which have double the national share of file clerks.

File clerks are less likely to work in the upper Midwest and across the Southeast.

3. Postal Service Mail Sorters and Machine Operators


The postal service has eliminated 44% of mail jobs as well as machine operator jobs. In 2018, the USPS had under 500,000 full-time workers--down form 800,000 as of the late 1990s.

A number of these positions were in distribution facilities which have been more fully automated. The Labor Department predicts that jobs for processors, mail sorters, and machine operators fell 82,000 over the period. This figure does not include mail carriers and postal clerks.

Postal workers are employed in every region of the country, but jobs are concentrated in regions that act as distribution hubs. The small city of Charleston, W.V. has a major processing and distribution center, and it had the highest concentration of postal workers in the country.

Postal jobs in sorting and processing are employed at three times the U.S. rate in these cities Des Moines, Iowa, Greensboro, N.C., Fayetteville, N.C. Manchester, N.H., Trenton, N.J. and Springfield, Mass.

4. Account Collectors


The number of jobs in this profession declined by 39 percent in 10 years. There are a significantly lower number of workers these days that collect payments. Federal data show 250,000 bill and account collectors nationwide -- down from about 409,000 in 2008.

This occupation encompasses a range of bill collecting activities, such as preparing statements, receiving payments and posting collections to accounts. Many of the positions were upended by the proliferation of online billing and automated telephone payment systems. Citi analysts estimated banking jobs were declining at a rate of about 2 percent a year, projecting a 30 percent reduction in staffing between 2015 and 2025 from retail banking automation.

Sioux Falls, S.D. is another prominent place where several banks cut staffing at call centers and other facilities in recent years. Billing and account collectors do not need to worry in the banking hub at about six times the national rate.

Buffalo, N.Y.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Salt Lake City also have disproportionately large numbers of these workers.

5. Data Entry Keyers


Jobs for data entry keyers fell by 36% in the 10-year period analyzed. That doesn't mean there aren't still a lot of data entry workers. However, federal estimates place the number at 175,000. Data entry personnel operate keyboards, verify data and prepare printed information. There is a similar classification that includes 53,000 jobs, such as typists and word processors--these jobs fell by 50 percent.

Data entry keyers are spread out across the country, but there are areas of larger concentration. Metro areas that have a disproportionately higher number of these jobs include the Fresno, Calif.; Austin, Texas; and Salt Lake City.

6. Order Clerks


Order clerks jobs have declined by more than a third due to automation. There were around 159,000 order clerks employed last year, a significant decline from about 250,000 just ten years prior.

The dwindling numbers come from a shift to e-commerce as well as automation. The Labor Department states that order clerks work mainly for retailers, but they are also employed wholesalers and warehouses, among other companies. The median wage is$36,000.

Order clerks were concentrated at four times the national rate in the Tampa, Fla., area and another 15,000 workers were employed in the Los Angeles metro area.

Separately, data suggest correspondence clerks (-59 percent), new account clerks (-53 percent), mail clerks (-37 percent), payroll clerks, and timekeeping clerks (-29 percent) suffered substantial losses over the decade.

7. Chief Executives


Chief executive jobs declined 35% in ten years. The number of U.S, workers, with a corner office and a Chief Executive Officer title, have diminished by more than a third. CEO position span almost all types of organizations and industries but are down by 106,000.

As might be expected, chief executives have much higher wages than most jobs on this list. The average salary is about $200,000. Some head private companies and about 36,000 CEOs have jobs in schools and governments.

These jobs concentrate in areas with a lot of startups. Some of these areas are Sacramento Nashville and Salt Lake City--metro areas with double the national rate. Only a few hundred chief executives work in San Antonio, New Orleans, Denver, and other larger cities.

8. Production Worker Helpers


A 30% decrease in production worker helpers leaves about 350,000 of them nationally. Production workers cover a range of jobs, including food processors and machinists. Helper employees help workers collectively and make up a large section of the nation's workforce. However, with the advent of automation, the need for these jobs has greatly decreased.

These jobs steadily decreased by 30% over the decade analyzed. These workers typically performed low-skill tasks. For example, some job descriptions include supplying materials or holding tools or cleaning work areas. Federal data shows that production worker helpers concentrate in Fayetteville, Ark.; Anniston, Ala.; Elkhart, Ind.; Fort Smith, Ark., and many smaller areas.

9. Installation, Maintenance and Repair Worker Helpers


Installation, maintenance and repair jobs fell 30% between 2008 and 2018. Employees helping those engaged in other industries are finding fewer job postings. The Labor Department estimates that these jobs decreased by nearly a third. Now, these employees work mainly in the building equipment or auto repair industries. They are based outside of major urban areas, and some of the highest concentrations are in Texas, Louisiana, and other areas of the South.

10. Telecommunications Installers and Repairers


Jobs for telecommunications installers and repairs have fallen 30%. Several major telecommunications companies have laid off significant portions of their workforce, particularly in these types of jobs. Part of this trend comes from the decision to cut the cord on traditional phone and cable services.

There are 50,000 fewer of these jobs than there were ten years ago. Most of these workers live in large urban areas, particularly Pittsburgh; Washington, D.C.; Albany, N.Y.; and the Dallas-Fort Worth.

Many other jobs are declining due to automation, and it may take a major move to keep them--or a switch to a field that is currently more in demand.

Contact ICS to make a move that would give you more job security.
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