10 Job Sectors in Decline

What to Do If Your Industry Is on the Way Out

10 Job Sectors in Decline

By Margaret Steen, for Yahoo! HotJobs

People in almost every profession may feel like jobs are scarce right now. For many industries, this is a temporary situation. But jobs in some fields are expected to continue disappearing even after the economy picks up.

Is your industry on the decline? The federal government projects that a number of industries will continue to lose jobs thru 2018.

"You can't sit around and wait for news to come out about what's going to happen to your industry," said Alexandra Levit, author of New Job, New You. "You have to be proactive about this."

Disappearing Jobs

Here's a list of the top 10 industries expected to lose the most jobs by 2018 -- and what to do if you're working in one of them:

  • Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing: Projected to lose 18.6 percent of its 544,000 jobs.
  • Department Stores: Projected to lose 10.2 percent of the 1.56 million jobs they had in 2008.
  • Semiconductor Manufacturing: Projected to lose 33.7 percent of the 432,000 jobs it had in 2008.
  • Postal Service: Projected to lose 13 percent of the 748,000 jobs it had in 2008.
  • Printing and Related Jobs: Projected to lose 16 percent of its 594,000 jobs.
  • Cut-and-Sew Apparel Manufacturing: Projected to lose 57 percent of its 155,000 jobs.
  • Newspaper Publishers: Projected to lose 24.8 percent of its 326,000 jobs.
  • Mining Support Jobs: Projected to lose 23.2 percent of its 328,000 jobs.
  • Gas Stations: Projected to lose 8.9 percent of its 843,000 jobs.
  • Wired Telecom: Projected to lose 11 percent of its 666,000 jobs.

Semiconductors are one of several manufacturing industries on the declining list. Because so many different types of manufacturing jobs are disappearing, it will not be easy to simply get another manufacturing job. You may need to develop some completely new skills.

Levit suggests beefing up your resume with volunteer work so you can show skills that will be applicable in other industries. For example, helping a volunteer organization deal with its members can show that you have client-service skills.

She also recommends being innovative to keep your job. "You need to be front and center with management, giving them suggestions for how they can remain competitive."

Are You Affected?

What should you do if your industry is on this list? First, don't panic. The job declines in these industries are projected to take place over a decade. And many jobs -- a majority in most of these industries -- will remain even after 10 years.

Still, it's good to start thinking about Plan B. Build your savings and start researching what other industries might be able to use your skills.

If you're nearing retirement and had been planning to move into a different field, you might want to make the move earlier. And if you have many years of work ahead of you, you should consider seriously whether it's feasible for you to stay in your industry for the long term.

"Start sharpening your transferrable skills," Levit said. These include project management, budgeting and customer service. "You want to be developing a resume that showcases the skills you have in all those areas."