Last week MyBankTracker.com reported that the U.S. unemployment rate stayed stagnant in September at 9.6% as the economy lost 95,000 jobs. Although the recession officially has been declared over, things do not look all that promising.
The poor job market has had Americans from every socioeconomic background on edge as job security is at its worst, but these five careers are feeling the most strain, according to CNBC.
An impressive title is not helping these individuals much in the near future, as demand for chemical engineers is expected to decrease by 2%. Engineering in general is expected to do well, but due to “cutbacks in defense expenditures” this particular niche could feel some strain.
Chemical engineers make $84,680 per year on average and gain their edge by staying ahead of the curve on different technologies. Chemical engineers work with different varieties of raw materials to make them more economical, safe and useful. Their work ranges from developing explosives to fragrances. Chances are you have probably used about five things today a chemical engineer has helped create.
CNBC says that the increasing popularity of contracting engineers from different countries that offer lower wages is definitely not helping U.S.-trained chemical engineers.
Judge Judy better watch her back: The number of judicial positions available is expected to decrease by 3% during the next decade. Ironically the decrease is not related to criminal activity, but governmental issues. The budget cuts are making the 26,900 current judges nervous and are affecting everyone from federal judges to state judges and city judges.
Becoming a judge is a difficult task. Those that make it are rewarded with a high salary — average of $110,220 — as well as prestige. The availability of judge jobs isn’t only dictated by the government’s decision to employ judges, but also by private individuals’ legal choices. With court fees growing and budgets dwindling, many Americans choose to settle out-of-court.
This one is a surprise considering the current technological boom, but even programmers are not safe from a 3% expected decrease in job availability in the next decade. As more users and businesses are becoming tech-savvy, they are learning programs on their own, leaving programmers out of the entire implementation process. Like in the chemical engineering field, turning to outsourcing is providing companies with cheaper service without sacrificing quality.
The fact that technology knows know boundaries — land, language, etc. — makes it difficult for American computer programmers to gain a competitive edge over international programmers who are willing to work for lower wages. Unlike the other jobs on this list the weak economy does not necessarily negatively impact this job market. “Some companies are hiring programmers in the U.S. in areas that were particularly hard hit by the recession,” according to CNBC.
This is a modernized example of machine replacing man. A 4% decrease in insurance underwriters’ job availability is expected as technology becomes more advanced the need for human insurance underwriters decreases. An insurance underwriter is responsible for analyzing information to determine the appropriate amount of risk allowed to avoid loss on insurance applications. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment is expected to decline slowly as the spread of automated underwriting software increases worker productivity.” There are currently 103,000 underwriters employed at an average salary of $56,790.
The high turnover rate and growth in long-term care insurance is speculated to keep some job opportunities available. Much like the other jobs, staying on top of new technologies and developing strong computer skills will increase the possibility of being hired.
Not surprisingly, those who work for the news industry have most reason for alarm in the upcoming decade. An 8% decrease is slated to hit the industry as newspaper, magazine and broadcast professionals are being replaced with cheaper bloggers and “citizen reporters” who work via social networking and other new media. Technology is quickly reshaping the news business.
Fueled by advertising dollars, the news industry always takes a hit when the economy is weak and many organizations are making budget cuts starting at advertising. It is a lot easier to get work as a freelance reporter or for local stations in smaller, rural towns. Journalism graduates with double majors have an advantage over their counterparts because they are more knowledgeable on specialized reporting.