Jobs That No Longer Exist: 10 Industries Heading for Extinction

According to a recent report by the BLS, over the next decade 10 types of industries will be phased out of the economy and deemed no longer viable or profitable. Why you ask? Well, for the most part it is because these are industries with jobs that can either be performed by a computer or outsourced to another country where labor is cheaper, thereby making people-our own human resources- the obsolete entity that no longer serves a purpose or function in these specific roles. Why hire someone to perform a job that a computer can do in half the amount of time and better, with no backtalk? Why pay someone to complete a task if it can be outsourced and done at a cheaper rate, but of the same quality?

The fact of the matter is that there will always be someone or something better than you are at a certain task and once you show any signs of your failings you become replaceable. Once you are replaceable you longer carry the clout of being a hot commodity or a coveted asset; you become someone that companies and industries can function without, not someone that companies need in order to function. Unfortunately, many people working in these industries are finding that jobs no longer exist as it is hard to keep pace with the advancing economy and technologies that society demands. After all, that is what we want to do, right? Advance the economy? The question is not if we want to advance the economy, but at what costs?

Read on to ensure that you are not replaceable.

1. Gas Stations

Unless you live in NJ where all gas stations are full service,where the state mandates this so that people have jobs, you will start to see a decline in the number of gas stations that litter the highways and streets. It is mostly because of the fact that we have maxed out many of our oil resources and strained our relationships with foreign oil tycoons, expediting the process of urbanization and mass transit. Over the years our cities will begin to resemble more European cities where a Smart car is considered the family SUV, as a result this job may no longer exist

Number employed in 2008: 843,000

Number employed in 2018 (est.): 769,000

Percent decline: 8.9%

2. Department Stores

Besides the Macy's Day parade on Thanksgiving every year, when was the last time you went down to one of their stores to shop for the day? Can't remember that far back, well it's probably because you were ten and your mother was making you get a new pair of shoes for the start of the school year. We live in a fast-paced society that is all about the immediate and saving time, which people never seem to have enough of. Anything that claims to save you time is a must in this society and that includes cyber-shopping. Who wants to drive to the mall and waste gas to buy products in a store when you can have them delivered to your door with the click of a button? Nowadays you can get anything delivered-cars, furniture, food, and even diapers! If it doesn't come via FedEx, people don't want it, because it takes too long to get it and by then the product is already yesterday's news.

Number employed in 2008: 1,557,000

Number employed in 2018 (est.): 1,398,000

Percent decline: 10.2%

3. Wired telecom

Hello, this is a no-brainer. If its not wireless no one wants it. Again, this society cares about the now and the immediate, not the old and outdated. People don't even know how to deal with things that are wired anymore.

Number employed in 2008: 666,000

Number employed in 2018 (est.): 593,000

Percent decline: 11%

4. The Postal Service

Ever since the invention of email, fewer and fewer people are using the snail mail, making its very existence almost unnecessary. More and more people are clicking away at their computers so that they can be tapped into the network and connected at all times. People used to write letters and thank you notes and send out formal invitations by mail because that was what was available, but with websites like Evite and Hallmark, there is no need to spare the expense of both your time and money by writing out a card by hand. You can actually invite guests to your wedding via the Internet.

Number employed in 2008: 843,000

Number employed in 2018 (est.): 769,000

Percent decline: 8.9%

5. Printing

People do not read hardcopies of everything like they did twenty years ago, even books are becoming automated on computers. Instead it's cool to be environmentally friendly by reducing the amount of paper you use. More and more people are reading documents right off of their computers so that they are not killing trees or deforesting parts of Central America.

Number employed in 2008: 594,000

Number employed in 2018 (est.): 499,000

Percent decline: 16%

6. Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing

Cars are still popular in the U.S, but with modern advances in public transit and concerns over our country's oil crisis and "being green" many folks are choosing to not buy cars. No cars to make, no parts to manufacture, no people needed to fill those positions and manufacture those parts. This will not happen overnight, but if you start to see people tying up horses at the post in front of your office, be alarmed.

Number employed in 2008: 666,000

Number employed in 2018 (est.): 593,000

Percent decline: 11.0%

7. Mining

This industry has steadily been declining for years thanks to the trifecta of problems. First of all the industry has failed to become more self-reliant, making it an undesirable vocation that is less and less sustainable. Second, modern technological advances are occurring faster than humans can reproduce to provide a suitable applicant pool of miners to choose from, and lastly, because people are becoming more and more aware of how dangerous the work is-hello, underground in the dark with axes and explosives- and how it adversely affects the health of its workers years later-toxins, fumes, gases and oh yeah, fire and explosions on occasion. Who wants to sign up for that?

Number employed in 2008: 748,000

Number employed in 2018 (est.): 650.000

Percent decline: 13.0%

8. Semiconductors

Years ago when these products were the new kid on the technology block they were a hot item. Now they are cast off as sloppy seconds and considered the cheap- outsourced -redheaded-step- child- product of the manufactured high-tech industry. Another example of a product that was a flash in the pan and that couldn't go the distance and keep pace with the advances in technology. Can't be high-tech if you can't keep up with the technology.

Number employed in 2008: 544,00

Number employed in 2018 (est.): 443,000

Percent decline: 18.6%

9. Newspaper Publishing

Well, with the decrease in mining and forestry activities, the invention of email, the green movement and the decline of printing companies, what are the newspapers going to write their stories on, and how will they mass produce them and distribute them to the public? Who needs a paper boy when you have the Internet. Why spend money to print newspaper on an old-fashioned printing press when you can make as many drafts and corrections as you want on a digital program on your computer that does the work faster than any human could?

Number employed in 2008: 594,000

Number employed in 2018 (est.): 499,000

Percent decline: 16.0%

10. Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing

With the increasing popularity of outsourcing labor and the many skilled craftsmen and women who work in this industry in Asia and other parts of the world it seems rather silly to pay for a sub-par product just because it was created on American soil.

Number employed in 2008: 155,000

Number employed in 2018 (est.): 67,000

Percent decline: 57.0%

None of these jobs or industries will fold overnight, but they are all jobs that some day will no longer exist, today they are declining and not doing well at weathering this economic recession. And frankly they are not jobs that will be able to rebound from this workplace strain because most of these positions are replaceable-either by cheaper labor, more advanced technologies, or basic societal demands.

Next: 18 Jobs to Rebuild and Modernize America >>

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I would have taken this article seriously until the author used an extremely offensive phrase about my hair color.

August 28 2012 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah sorry I disagree - none of these industries will go extinct. I dont see any buggywhips on this list. Here's proof:

1. Gas stations will slowly become charging stations that still sell cigarettes and candy.
2. Department stores have been selling their wares online for over a decade - and physical stores themselves will continue to adapt, though certainly some brands will disappear.
3. Wired telecom - doesn't matter if your device is wireless - it still needs to be plugged when the batteries die; not to mention wired telecom became fiber-optic and merged with TV & Internet service over a decade ago.
4. Postal service - contines to decline - but junk mail, online retail and holiday greetings will keep it afloat. Ecards have not replaced Hallmark cards (my supermarket still has two aisles of greeting cards).
5. Printing - Bundle this with packaging - every product you buy comes in a package, usually with printed logos and information on them.
6. Motor vehicle parts manufacturing - unless someone invents the teleport, we'll still need a way to get around, whatever it is, our trasnportation systems will require some form of mechanical maintenance and parts supply.
7. Mining - Every aspect of modern life requires the use of products which were assembled using some form of raw material, the vast majority of which was mined or harvested from the earth before being processed, changed, or converted into energy to run machinery to make more products. This is perhaps the most ignorant entry on this list.
8. Semiconductors - material advances in technology which produced the semiconductor bonanza will change to nanotechnology; labs, scientists and researchers will adapt.
9. Newspaper publishing - enough said.
10. Cut and sew apparel manufacturing - umm... I dont see the american public giving up their fashion demands to start walking around naked.

So sorry Ms. Parkes, but your "statistical research" based entirely on three year old employment data and projections for 7 years from now, just doesnt tell the whole story, and your op-ed commentary regarding each industry is obviously based entirely on your own opinion.

One industry I would like to see eliminated: Online wanna-be journalism. We could do without that.

December 11 2011 at 2:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This article is sooo green.

February 13 2010 at 2:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Buy Union. The only way this country will survive. God Bless America!

February 06 2010 at 8:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

heh yeah that article was so bad that i want the five minutes back of my life ..that i wasted on reading it..bleh.

February 06 2010 at 3:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the people that write these articles ..are morons. i was in nyc when the towers came down. know what? the stupid cell phone towers went with them. the ONLy way i was able to call home was via land line (and i live in ct), and to this day, i still have one. cell phones are not all that reliable, particularly during an emergency.

February 06 2010 at 3:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

thanks fred.

January 21 2010 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

this article is right on!!!!!!! and was researched...yes right on! Gwen Parks I love your writing you are it!!!

January 07 2010 at 7:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

ok I ran out of space haa

January 07 2010 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, heres the reason they outsource jobs.... Because they can make more profit. Thetas not really why we are in a state of recession now. The Recession was caused by the banking system.... And every recession ever,, has always been caused by the banking industry....every one......out of control bankers!!! Wana bet..check it out. Outsourcing is a product of natural business competition. If you lost your job because of would retrain for a defiant job. That's called continuing education....which is a fact of life in an era that grows 40% new knowledge every year.

The reason the USA made a 5000 year jump is because of all the new technology. Get on the ban wagon or get lost. In other words stay with the times or you will be left behind. That's what you have to do. the days of getting a job and staying there all your life are over and it was over many years ago. Forget it. If thetas what you think you are going to do then you are a looser. You have to continually educate yourself and become better and smarter. period!

Not your fault...but the recession was caused by the out of control banking system. When you wake up and voice your opinion about our system then we will have free trade and commerce and we sill all have jobs, if you innovate and educate yourselves. Why do you blame it on everybody else when you are the reason you Arnet working....tons of jobs out there....just not the ones you did for the last 20 years....wake the hell up people!!!!... why am I the one that has to tell you how to grow up??? ... wake up... times change you have to change too. why cant people understand that?... its like Im an autoworker I put windshields in and that's

January 07 2010 at 7:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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