Mail carriers are among those working in the nation's most endangered careers, according to a survey from job-search site CareerCast that's based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
With the U.S. Postal Service in financial distress -- the agency lost $1.9 billion in the second quarter -- it's no wonder that the job is considered one of the nation's most endangered. At the heart of the problem is the Postal Service's declining revenue from first-class mail, given the popularity of email. Other at-risk careers include the newspaper reporter and the travel agent.
The common thread? The "disruption" caused by the Internet.
For mail carriers, employment is expected to plummet by 28 percent by 2022, thanks to new automated sorting systems and smaller budgets, the BLS notes. Even though retiring mail carriers will need to be replaced, applicants can expect tough competition given the smaller number of openings.
Other at-risk careers include farmers, thanks to more efficient farming and ranching techniques, which will cut down on demands for human labor, and meter readers, since gas and electric companies are installing electronic meter readers.
While new jobs are being created in growing industries such as the information technology sector, the downward spiral for some of these job categories represents a setback for some traditional middle-class careers.
A job as a postal worker, for instance, was once considered a way for many to climb into the middle class. The agency's job cuts -- more than 168,000 since 2006 -- is especially tough on the black middle class, given that about 20 percent of U.S. Postal Service workers are black, according to Reuters.
As for newspaper jobs, they've been in decline for years, thanks to Americans' increasing reliance on websites, television and news apps on smartphones. Print ad revenue has fallen back to its level in 1950, according to the American Enterprise Institute. Unfortunately for print newsroom workers, the decline is "not even close to being over," the AEI notes.
Below are the 10 most endangered jobs, according to CareerCast, along with their median annual salary and hiring outlook through 2021:
1. Mail carrier: $53,100; -28 percent
2. Farmer: $69,300; -19%
3. Meter reader: $36,410; -19%
4. Newspaper reporter: $37,090, -13%
5. Travel agent: $34,600; -12%
6. Lumberjack: $24,340; -9%
7. Flight attendant: $37,240; -7%
8. Drill-press operator: $32,950; -6%
9. Printing worker: $34,100; -5%
10. Tax examiner and collector: $50,440; -4%
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