The Fastest Declining Jobs In America

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Getty ImagesA commercial horse logger removes a Scots Pine tree.

By Alison Griswold

Tree-fellers, shoemakers, and postal clerks, beware. More than 30% of these jobs may disappear over the next 10 years.

A new release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sheds light on which American occupations will shrink the most in the coming decade. The 30 fastest-declining jobs are ranked by projected percent decrease between 2012 and 2022, and are expected to lose between 15% and 43% of their workers.

Some industries are taking a bigger blow than others. Textile work, for example, is tanking. And many U.S. Postal Service workers may soon be hanging up their mail bags.


Want a career that will thrive over the next decade and beyond? Then stay away from these fields.

30. Manufactured building and mobile home installers


800 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 15.1%
Workers earned a median salary of $28,080 in 2012.

29. Cutters and trimmers (using hand-held tools)


2,200 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 15.3%
Workers earned a median salary of $24,530 in 2012.

28. Door-to-door sales workers, news and street vendors, and related workers


14,200 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 15.3%
Workers earned a median salary of $21,470 in 2012.

27. Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders (metal and plastic)


19,200 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 15.4%
Workers earned a median salary of $28,630 in 2012.

26. Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders (metal and plastic)


11,900 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 15.9%
Workers earned a median salary of $32,330 in 2012.

25. Foundry mold and coremakers


2,000 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 16.2%
Workers earned a median salary of $30,540 in 2012.

24. Computer operators


12,700 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 17%
Workers earned a median salary of $38,390 in 2012.

23. Pourers and casters (metal)


2,000 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 18.7%
Workers earned a median salary of $34,060 in 2012.

22. Meter readers, utilities


7,700 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 19.2%
Workers earned a median salary of $35,940 in 2012.

21. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers


179,900 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 19.3%
Workers earned a median salary of $69,300 in 2012.

20. Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders


5,600 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 20.5%
Workers earned a median salary of $25,850 in 2012.

19. Drilling and boring machine tool setters, operators, and tenders (metal and plastic)


5,600 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 20.5%
Workers earned a median salary of $33,940 in 2012.

18. Animal breeders


300 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 23.4%
Workers earned a median salary of $34,250 in 2012.

17. Textile bleaching and dyeing machine operators and tenders


2,700 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 24.0%
Workers earned a median salary of $24,210 in 2012.

16. Postmasters and mail superintendents


5,600 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 24.2%
Workers earned a median salary of $63,050 in 2012.

15. Textile knitting and weaving machine setters, operators, and tenders


5,400 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 24.5%
Workers earned a median salary of $26,540 in 2012.

14. Data entry keyers


54,200 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 24.6%
Workers earned a median salary of $28,010 in 2012.

13. Fabric and apparel patternmakers


1,600 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 25%
Workers earned a median salary of $38,650 in 2012.

12. Word processors and typists


26,200 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 25.1%
Workers earned a median salary of $35,270 in 2012.

11. Sewing machine operators


41,700 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 25.8%
Workers earned a median salary of $21,270 in 2012.

10. Motion picture projectionists


2,100 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 26.5%
Workers earned a median salary of $19,830 in 2012.

9. Postal Service mail carriers


79,200 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 26.8%
Workers earned a median salary of $56,490 in 2012.

8. Textile cutting machine setters, operators, and tenders


4,200 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 27.1%
Workers earned a median salary of $24,050 in 2012.

7. Semiconductor processors


5,800 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 27.1%
Workers earned a median salary of $33,020 in 2012.

6. Postal Service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators


38,600 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 29.8%
Workers earned a median salary of $53,090 in 2012.

5. Log graders and scalers


1,100 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 31.6%
Workers earned a median salary of $32,880 in 2012.

4. Postal Service clerks


21,300 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 31.8%
Workers earned a median salary of $53,090 in 2012.

3. Shoe machine operators and tenders


1,200 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 35.3%
Workers earned a median salary of $24,310 in 2012.

2. Locomotive firers


700 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 42%
Workers earned a median salary of $44,920 in 2012.

1. Tree fallers


2,900 jobs lost between 2012 and 2022
A projected decline of 43.3%
Workers earned a median salary of $35,250 in 2012.
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