As the world changes, so does the job market. New technology creates new occupations but it also makes other jobs redundant. Here are 16 traditionally middle class jobs that are fast disappearing.
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The financial website 24/7 Wall St used data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics to project which jobs are disappearing. According to them, the increasing use of email means that there is less demand for people who can deliver messages and documents. In 2013, Workopolis research showed that the trend was similar in Canada.
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2. Switchboard Operator
According to 24/7 Wall St, the main reason why job opportunities for switchboard operators are in decline is that more companies now use automated answering systems and direct extensions. Workopolis predicts that in Canada, the job of a switchboard operator won't exist a decade from now.
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3. Reservation Agent or Travel Clerk
24/7 Wall Street says that reservation agents and travel clerks, who only book your transport and accommodation, are less in demand since you can book your own tickets online.
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4. Retail Cashier
Workopolis says that the demand for retail cashiers is fast declining and within a decade this job may be obsolete. One of the main reasons is that self-checkout services are becoming more popular.
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5. News Vendor
As more and more people shop online and read online newspapers and magazines, opportunities for news vendors are in decline, according to 24/7 Wall Street.
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6. Extruding and Drawing Machine Setter, Operator and Tender
With the increasing use of specialized computer technology, people who work with the machines that make metal and plastic pieces may soon find that their jobs have become redundant, according to research by 24/7 Wall St.
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7. Social Media Manager
Surprise! According to the website FinancesOnline, demand for dedicated social media managers will decline and Workopolis confirms this trend. The reason is that as almost everyone with access to a computer or smartphone uses some form of social media, navigating this field is becoming a general skill.
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8. Print Journalist
Workopolis says that print journalists will have disappeared by the end of the next decade. As readers move to online news sources, newspapers are closing down, and journalists either leave the profession or become skilled in multimedia.
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9. Information and Records Clerk
According to 24/7 Wall St, computerized filing and retrieval systems are making the job of a clerk who maintains records and files an obsolete one.
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10. Computer Operator
Dedicated computer operators will find it harder to land a full-time job with a single company, 24/7 Wall St says. This is because companies are increasingly outsourcing their computer monitoring and maintenance needs.
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11. Data Entry Clerk
24/7 Wall St says that more jobs for data entry clerks will disappear than almost all other jobs on the endangered list, mainly because of better technology. Workopolis confirms that this kind of job is fast disappearing. After all, these days employees in companies simply enter the data into a computer system themselves.
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12. Taxi Dispatcher
According to Workopolis, taxi dispatchers may become obsolete in the next decade. FinancesOnline says that the reasons include car-sharing programs and transport apps such as Uber.
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13. Postal Worker
Postal workers are fast becoming an endangered species as the US Postal Service runs on an operating deficit, according to 24/7 Wall St's research. In Canada, the outlook isn't much better, with Workopolis saying that postal worker jobs won't exist a decade from now.
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FinancesOnline says that the days for telemarketers are numbered. The bad news is that they will be replaced by something worse: robots and even fake robots, where someone in another country plays you a pre-recorded message.
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15. Tax Examiner and Collector
According to CNBC, tax examiners and collectors won't have much to look forward to in the hiring stakes in ten years' time. Before you start rejoicing, though: Their work will be done with the help of new software because, like Benjamin Franklin said, 'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.'
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16. Word Processor and Typist
One of the reasons that word processors and typists may need to look for alternative employment, according to 24/7 Wall St, is that the people who used to rely on them now do their own word processing and typing. Workopolis says that this is a job that may not exist in ten years' time.