Unemployment may have returned to pre-recession levels, but the middle class jobs Americans used to rely on to get by are nowhere to be found. A significant number of new jobs added since the 2008 economic meltdown are in low-paying industries like food service and home health care, a recent Wall Street Journal analysis found. At the same time, many traditional middle-class jobs, like those in construction and manufacturing, have vanished.
The news isn’t all bad. The U.S. economy has also added well-paying jobs in information services, management and consulting, and software development, the WSJ’s research found. But there’s no doubt that many of the jobs that once provided a secure middle-class income to millions of Americans no longer exist. Some – especially government jobs – have vanished due to budget cuts, while others have been shifted offshore or eliminated when technology made workers obsolete. And the worst isn’t over yet, at least in some industries.
Though the job market is expected to grow by about 7% between 2014 and 2024, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth won’t be shared equally across all industries. While certain fields, such as nursing and accounting, are looking at double-digit job growth, others are expected to shrink dramatically. The endangered jobs include many that pay enough to push someone into the middle class. (A family of four needed a household income of at least $48,000 to qualify as middle income in 2014, according to the Pew Research Center.)
Here are 10 middle-class jobs that are quickly disappearing.
All salary and employment data from the BLS unless otherwise noted.