If you’re searching for the perfect career or thinking about switching fields, you may want to do your homework first.
While U.S. employers added 196,000 jobs in March — the 118th month of straight gains — and average hourly earnings rose by 4 cents ($27.70), that doesn’t mean all occupations are seeing success.
In fact, some industries are actually seeing a rapid decline in terms of employees. And some states, in particular, are being hit harder than others. According to a study released earlier this month by personal finance website GoBankingRates.com, West Virginia, Alaska, New Mexico, Wyoming and Louisiana are among the worst states for job hunting.
Since 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has been projecting the fastest-declining occupations in the U.S. by 2026. Earlier this month, the agency updated its statistics to give job seekers a more recent look at how certain industries are doing — in terms of salary and projected growth.
Overall, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that employment will be up more than 7 percent in 2026. The agency previously said health care, health care support, construction and personal care fields would be amongst the fastest-growing occupations from 2012 to 2022.
Of the 818 occupations the bureau tracks, the agency found that locomotive firers, which receive an average annual salary of $63,820, will decline by -78.6 percent by 2026. Respiratory therapy technicians, which earn around $51,000, will also see a rapid dip of about -56.3 percent over seven years. Parking enforcement workers, averaging $39,840 per year, will also flounder — with the agency expecting a -35.3 percent decline in 2026.
Here’s a list of the 25 occupations (in order) that will be hit the hardest by 2026.
- Locomotive firers
- Respiratory therapy technicians
- Parking enforcement workers
- Word processors and typists
- Watch repairers
- Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles
- Foundry mold and coremakers
- Pourers and casters, metal
- Computer operators
- Telephone operators
- Mine shuttle car operators
- Electromechanical equipment assemblers
- Data entry keyers
- Postmasters and mail superintendents
- Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers
- Coil winders, tapers, and finishers
- Grinding and polishing workers, hand
- Timing device assemblers and adjusters
- Switchboard operators, including answering service
- Prepress technicians and workers
- Drilling and boring machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic
- Textile knitting and weaving machine setters, operators, and tenders
- Milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic
- Forging machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic
- Legal secretaries