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America’s 10 Fastest-Growing (and Fastest-Shrinking) Jobs

The Atlantic (02/07/12) Jordan Weissmann

Registered nurses are at the top of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ list of 30 occupations likely to record the biggest net job-growth through 2020, with another 711,900 to be hired as the nation’s population ages. The health care sector accounts for eight of the top 30 occupations, with more than three million jobs to be added over the next decade. Service industries also will add numerous jobs, with opportunities for college graduates in education, accounting, and corporate sales and for retail workers, waiters and waitresses, and janitors. Overall, BLS says 20.4 million jobs will be added by 2020.

However, advances in technology will make certain occupations irrelevant. Postal workers, typists, switchboard operators, file clerks, and agricultural workers are among the top 30 shrinking occupations. In the manufacturing sector, jobs in apparel, semiconductors, paper goods, and electronics will be eliminated due to competition from cheap overseas labor. Jobs requiring a high school diploma or less also will decline.