If you work in retail, fast food, or clerical work, your job is in jeopardy within the next decade. But those are not the only jobs about to disappear.
Two independent studies, one from the McKinsey Global Institute and another from the Swedish tech company Zimpler, both predict a dire future for many of today’s working Americans. Within 10 to 20 years, approximately 50% of all jobs in existence today will be replaced by automation. Most vulnerable will be low-income service workers, including cashiers, drivers, and waiters/waitresses.
The most common job in America today is Retail Salesperson. It is believed that most of these jobs will be gone within 10 years, and over 90 percent will disappear within 20 years.
The most vulnerable jobs highlighted in these reports include
- Retail Salesperson
- Fast Food Workers
- Secretaries / Administrative Assistants
- Office Clerks
- Waiters / Waitresses
- Drivers / Truck Drivers
- Bookkeepers / Accounting Clerks
- Wholesale Sales Representatives
- Construction Laborers
- Accountants and Auditors
- Security Guards
- Laborers and Material Movers
- Misc Assemblers and Fabricators (manufacturing)
- Stock Clerks
- Grounds Maintenance Workers
But it’s not all bad news. Those with high tech skills like Engineering, Robotics, and Computer Programmers will thrive. There will be a shortage of these highly-skilled workers, and many companies will be forced to train their workforce to help them adapt to modern-day industry needs.
Not all job losses can be blamed on robots. The American economy is always evolving, making some industries obsolete while new industries are developed. Ten years ago, the idea of a driverless car would have been considered absurd to most Americans.
The two landmark studies also have implications for the future of America’s immigration policies. With so many low-skill jobs disappearing, why would we want to continue bringing armies of unskilled immigrants to our shores, only to make them dependent wards of the state? President Trump has been lobbying for a merit-based immigration policy, favoring immigrants with skills applicable to today’s changing economy. Democrats have strongly opposed those proposals and prefer a system where low-skilled immigrants are welcomed to America.
We welcome your comments about America’s changing workforce and our country’s immigration policies. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.