Special Report

These Are the 24 Jobs You Are Most Likely to Lose

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14. Bartenders
> Annual total occupational separations rate, 2018-28: 17.6%
> Employment, 2018: 644,100
> Employment, 2028: 696,300
> 10-yr projected employment chg.: +52,200 (+8.1%)
> Median annual wage: $23,680

Every year until 2028, just over one in every 10 bartenders working in the United States will transfer to a new occupation, and about one in every 20 will leave the labor force entirely. All told, about 117,900 bartenders are expected to leave their job each year between 2018 and 2028. Bartenders have repetitive and often stressful work. Their work hours can go late into the night and often include shifts on weekends and holidays. As is often the case among the jobs on this list, bartenders are not required to have any formal education.

Bars are among the businesses most likely to remain closed the longest to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. As a result, bartenders may be more likely to switch to a different line of work during the pandemic, driving the turnover rate this year higher than what the BLS originally projected.

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13. Forest and conservation workers
> Annual total occupational separations rate, 2018-28: 17.7%
> Employment, 2018: 13,900
> Employment, 2028: 13,500
> 10-yr projected employment chg.: -400 (-3.2%)
> Median annual wage: $31,770

No occupation has a higher percentage of its workers transferring to other jobs than forest and conservation workers. Each year by 2028, 14.0% of forest and conservation workers are projected to be in new jobs and just 3.7% are projected to exit the labor force.

The number of forest and conservation jobs is projected to decline from 13,900 to 13,500 — one of six occupations on this list expected to lose jobs by 2028.

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12. Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food
> Annual total occupational separations rate, 2018-28: 17.8%
> Employment, 2018: 3,704,200
> Employment, 2028: 4,344,300
> 10-yr projected employment chg.: +640,100 (+17.3%)
> Median annual wage: Not available

Only 11 jobs are projected to have a higher annual turnover rate from 2018 to 2028 than combined food preparation and serving workers, at 17.8%. According to the BLS, large occupations typically have more openings than small ones, regardless of growth or replacement needs. Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food jobs, are one of the nation’s largest occupations, employing 3.7 million people. The occupation is also projected to be one of the fastest growing, with an anticipated 17.3% increase in total employment — more than triple the projected growth rate for 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 — combined food preparation and serving workers may now have a higher turnover rate than the BLS projected. Restaurants across the country have been closed for months, and many will not reopen.

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11. Gaming change persons and booth cashiers
> Annual total occupational separations rate, 2018-28: 18.9%
> Employment, 2018: 22,600
> Employment, 2028: 22,800
> 10-yr projected employment chg.: +200 (+0.7%)
> Median annual wage: $25,690

Gaming change persons and booth cashiers exchange chips and tokens for money in casinos. The number of Americans working in this field is projected to remain nearly flat over the next 10 years, increasing by just 0.7%. Nearly 19% of those working in the field will either work in a new job or leave the workforce altogether each year through 2028.

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10. Cashiers
> Annual total occupational separations rate, 2018-28: 18.9%
> Employment, 2018: 3,648,500
> Employment, 2028: 3,509,800
> 10-yr projected employment chg.: -138,700 (-3.8%)
> Median annual wage: $23,650

The number of cashier jobs is projected to decline from over 3.6 million to 3.5 million from 2018 to 2028. The job is one of six occupations on this list expected to lose jobs by 2028. This loss of about 139,000 workers is one of the largest projected declines of any occupation nationwide. Many of those leaving will likely search for a profession with higher wages, as the median annual wage of cashiers of $23,650 is one of the lowest wages of any job.

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