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20 Worst Jobs for the Future

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With the U.S. unemployment rate near a 50-year low, it’s a great time to be looking for a new job. Employers have plenty of openings to fill, and wages are even starting to rise after remaining stubbornly stagnant for years. But exercise caution before blindly switching careers. Even as the economy prospers, some occupations continue to fade as the evolving employment landscape leaves them behind.

To help today’s job seekers better grasp the realities of the labor market and avoid dying professions, we analyzed 773 occupations, considering their pay rates, growth potential over the next decade and educational requirements. The bottom of our rankings are littered with jobs that pay little at present and are expected to shed positions in the future. Take a look at 20 of the worst jobs for the future, along with our suggestions for alternate career paths that utilize comparable skills or satisfy similar interests while offering better growth and pay prospects.

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Unless otherwise noted, all employment data was provided by Emsi, a labor-market research firm owned by Strada Education. Emsi collects data from dozens of federal, state and private sources, including reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and surveys from the U.S. Census Bureau. The total number of jobs listed for each occupation is for 2017. Projected 10-year job growth figures represent the percentage change in the total number of jobs in an occupation between 2017 and 2027. Annual earnings were calculated by multiplying median hourly earnings by 2,080, the standard number of hours worked in a year by a full-time employee. Jobs are listed in reverse order by ranking, from 20 to 1.

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