08/08/2018 Molly Moseley

The next wave of jobs Americans won’t want

It’s a job-seeker’s market, with many professionals getting their pick of opportunities, but are they getting too picky? Lack of people to fill essential jobs could have far-reaching effects.

It’s a luxury to be selective when open jobs outnumber available workers. Trending on LinkedIn right now is “The jobs no one wants,” which discusses the top industries that are struggling despite paying well and offering good benefits.

What these jobs have in common is they’re physically and/or mentally challenging, therefore people are just saying “no” to working them. The industries the post mentions include:

  • Trucking: The current shortage of 51,000 drivers is predicted to reach 100,000 by 2021. Millennials unwilling to endure the long hours and travel mean young drivers won’t fill these needs anytime soon.
  • 911 call centers: Unfortunately, the lack of resources to train and pay workers is widespread, plus the high mental stress factor is deterring many people from considering these types of jobs.
  • Construction: It can be tough work, and when many businesses don’t offer training programs, young workers are turning away opportunities.
  • Farming: Americans’ disinterest in working agriculture continues, plus the government’s guest worker program to bring foreign nationals in to fill temporary positions is proving too expensive for growers.

Can you imagine the grocery store not having a full produce department? What about not having someone pick up the phone when you dial 911? It seems unfathomable, but could it be a near reality?

Some employers are offering bonuses and creative benefits to lure candidates. One strategy is lowering experience requirements so they can tap a broader talent pool, but it’s still challenging to fill positions in the current job market.

While employers struggle to bring people in, I’m starting to think about what will be the next wave of jobs Americans won’t want, say, in 2030? Here are some not-so-rosy thoughts:

Physicians

Doctors are increasingly challenged by insurance companies and are unable to treat patients as required based on policy constraints, all while some maintain that the public is loosing trust in doctors for reasons outside of their control. They are often working longer hours under high demand, pushing themselves and their teams to the limit. With bare-bones insurance policies now available online, will doctors have to start turning away patients? Potentially. What’s more, with the risk of lawsuits increasing, is it even worth maintaining a license to perform medicine? The answer may be no.

K-12 teachers

Already fewer college students want to be teachers. Classroom teachers are notoriously paid poorly to work long hours during the school year. Add to that the increasing threat of school violence, and we wouldn’t be surprised if more people opt out of getting a teaching degree, and even those with the education decide to make a career change. Another thought: With an anticipated increase in computer-based classes even at the elementary level, will the demand for teachers lessen and perhaps balance out the exodus? We’ll have to wait and see.

Traditional employees

Traditional employees who go to work a standard shift each day may be on the list regardless of the industry. For example, working 8-5 in an office setting isn’t appealing to many people anymore, especially youth. The gig economy is growing as people want to set their own schedules so they can work where and when they want. As contract and independent consulting grows, it may be nearly impossible to fill those cubicles.

What are your thoughts on current and future jobs that no one wants? What can employers do to incentivize these professions and entice candidates? What are the implications of a workforce disinterested in jobs like farming, construction, teaching, and medicine? Please add to the discussion and share your comments!

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