Special Report

12 Jobs Being Lost to China

Extruding, forming, pressing, and compacting machine setters, operators, and tenders
Source: Thinkstock

9. Extruding, forming, pressing, and compacting machine setters, operators, and tenders
> Projected loss 2014-2024: -13.6%
> 2014 jobs: 68,200
> 2024 jobs: 59,000
> Median annual wage: $32,160

Most extruding, forming, pressing, and compacting machines are used in the manufacturing of rubber and plastic products. Such functions help create a diverse array of consumer products such as soap, wax, bricks, and glassware. Many of these products are now almost exclusively manufactured overseas. More than 90% of all rubber, for example, is made in Asia. Largely because of foreign competition, employment in the field is projected to decline by 13.6% in the decade ending in 2024.

Metal worker
Source: Thinkstock

8. Miscellaneous metal workers and plastic workers
> Projected loss 2014-2024: -18.4%
> 2014 jobs: 104,700
> 2024 jobs: 85,400
> Median annual wage: $34,270

Miscellaneous metal and plastic workers include such jobs as tool filers and sharpeners, heat treating equipment workers, and metal and plastic coating machine workers. Like many other jobs moving out of the United States, cheaper labor abroad lowers manufacturing costs for companies producing metal and plastic products. From 2014 to 2024, the number of U.S. miscellaneous metal and plastic workers will decline by 18.4%.

Shoemaker sews shoes, cobbler
Source: Thinkstock

7. Shoe and leather workers
> Projected loss 2014-2024: -19.2%
> 2014 jobs: 13,300
> 2024 jobs: 10,700
> Median annual wage: $24,090

Due largely to lower labor costs, more shoes are manufactured in China than in any other country. According to left-leaning think tank the Economic Policy Institute, low labor costs in China are also responsible for many of the the more than 30,000 leather product manufacturing jobs that left the United States for China between 2001 and 2010. Due to outsourcing as well as increasingly efficient manufacturing technology, the number of U.S. shoe and leather workers is projected to decrease by 19.2% from 2014 to 2024.