Told that certain careers are endangered, you should start to worry about the people who deliver our mail. Projected at 28 percent from 2012 to 2022, the decline in the number of postal service workers is for reasons we would expect. The chief culprit is email with Facebook and Twitter sharing some of the blame. Add automated sorting equipment to email and social media and you have a shrinking job category.
Where are we going? To job growth problems.
The following graph from Fortune provides a snapshot of a decline that BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) details through 100 job categories. Jewelers are listed because more of their trade has been outsourced, increasingly expensive equipment has nudged smaller farmers out of business, and media bosses are not hiring reporters because TV, newspapers and radio have less ad revenue.
Meanwhile, we could have added a contraction for travel agents, desktop publishers and semiconductor processors who are in factories with more automation.
You can see the health care bias of jobs on the rise:
Our Bottom Line: Job Growth Problems
Nobel Laureate Michael Spence summarized job losses and gains in a recent Project Syndicate column. To picture his perspective we can imagine two buckets. In one bucket we should place all employment that relates to global trade, our tradable sector jobs. The non-tradable sector that Includes two-thirds of all jobs in the U.S. economy is in the second bucket.
And therein lies our problem. Many of the jobs in the growth category are in the second bucket.
As Dr. Spence explained, although that second bucket experienced job increases, its value added was lower than the jobs that had disappeared because of global supply chains and digitization. Between 1990 and 2008, the global bucket generated more income for Americans at home because of worldwide competition and outsourcing. However, the second bucket had no income growth–only job growth.
Interestingly, many of the job declines like our mail delivery people are also in that second bucket.