Special Report

These Are the 24 Jobs You Are Most Likely to Lose

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19. Demonstrators and product promoters
> Annual total occupational separations rate, 2018-28: 17.1%
> Employment, 2018: 87,400
> Employment, 2028: 92,000
> 10-yr projected employment chg.: +4,600 (+5.2%)
> Median annual wage: $30,930

Demonstrators and product promoters show off merchandise and answer questions for the purpose of creating public interest in buying the product. Many also sell the demonstrated merchandise.

Unlike many of the jobs with high turnover, demonstrators and product promoters are projected to be more likely to leave the labor force entirely than switch occupations. Some 9,100 workers in the occupation are projected to exit the labor force, and 6,300 to transfer to a new occupation each year from 2018 to 2028.

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18. Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers
> Annual total occupational separations rate, 2018-28: 17.1%
> Employment, 2018: 465,900
> Employment, 2028: 511,100
> 10-yr projected employment chg.: +45,200 (+9.7%)
> Median annual wage: $23,470

Unlike many of the other jobs with the highest annual turnover, dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers are projected to have a relatively even amount of workers leaving the profession for another job and those leaving the labor force altogether. Each year from 2018 to 2028, the BLS expects 40,300 of these workers to stop working and 43,200 to transfer to a new occupation.

As a part of the effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, in-door dining facilities and bars have been shut down for months in much of the country. Many of these facilities will likely not reopen, and as a result, turnover among dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers this year could be far higher than the BLS initially projected.

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17. Choreographers
> Annual total occupational separations rate, 2018-28: 17.3%
> Employment, 2018: 7,200
> Employment, 2028: 7,000
> 10-yr projected employment chg.: -200 (-2.8%)
> Median annual wage: $46,330

The number of choreographers is projected to decline from 7,200 to 7,000 from 2018 to 2028. The job is one of six occupations on this list expected to lose jobs within 10 years. Waning demand for choreographers in the job market suggests that the occupation’s high projected turnover rate is driven in part by layoffs.

With a median annual wage of $46,330, choreographers have the highest median income of any job with the highest projected annual turnover.

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16. Dancers
> Annual total occupational separations rate, 2018-28: 17.3%
> Employment, 2018: 13,900
> Employment, 2028: 14,000
> 10-yr projected employment chg.: +100 (+0.6%)
> Median annual wage: Not available

Dancers can work in a range of environments, from casinos and cruise ships to traveling dance companies and in music videos. The job can take a considerable toll on performers’ bodies, and dancers are among the most likely workers to sustain an injury. The demanding physical nature of the work likely explains why, each year, about 17.3% of dancers — about 2,400 people — in the United States either move on to a new career or leave the workforce entirely.

Across the country, live performances, including those that involve dancers, have been cancelled in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Cancelled performances could contribute to higher turnover among dancers this year than the BLS anticipated in its projections.

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15. Food preparation workers
> Annual total occupational separations rate, 2018-28: 17.3%
> Employment, 2018: 842,100
> Employment, 2028: 911,200
> 10-yr projected employment chg.: +69,100 (+8.2%)
> Median annual wage: $24,800

Food preparation workers are generally not well compensated. Most workers in the occupation earn less than $25,000 per year, well below the U.S. median annual wage for all occupations of $39,810. An estimated 17.3% of workers in the industry will leave it annually between 2018 and 2028, or over 151,000 people a year. Yet the number of jobs in this sector is expected to increase by 8.2% during that time, well above the 5.2% projected employment increase across all jobs.

Like other occupations on this list in the food services industry — one that has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic — food preparation workers may now have a higher turnover rate this year than the BLS originally projected. Restaurants across the country have been closed for months, and many will not reopen.

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