Your job is consistently threatened whether you give it much thought or not. While many people do enjoy a good level of job security, the truth is, anything can happen at any time that renders you redundant — robots can take our jobs, a new CEO may decide that layoffs are necessary, or a fire or natural disaster can hit. While that’s all relatively unlikely, it’s important to keep in mind that jobs are not permanent.
For many people receiving layoff notices this year, the writing has been on the wall for some time. Big economic changes have pushed many into joblessness over the past few months, and those cycles and mechanisms will continue to churn well into the future. Oil workers are being fired due to falling prices, for example. Tech companies are scrapping certain projects, sending others to the unemployment line.
Lost jobs in 2016
Jobs are lost all the time, for one reason or another. The best you can do to protect yourself is be aware of what’s happening in and around your industry. Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do to save your job. Other times, you can make some serious efforts to insulate yourself.
But as for layoffs this year? They’ve been coming in droves. Here are seven specific jobs and industries that have been plagued by layoffs, and will likely continue to be for the near future.
1. Oil workers
Following huge growth in the energy sector thanks to fracking and natural gas exploration in parts of the Midwest, we’re now seeing the downturn. An influx of supply has caused market prices for energy to drop dramatically, pushing many companies out of business. As a result, many oil and gas workers have been laid off from the oil fields of the Dakotas, and parts of Texas. Tens, if not hundreds of thousand of jobs have been lost.
2. Coal miners
The energy sector has seen downturns in other areas, notably coal, over the past several years. The number of coal mining jobs are dropping as newer, cheaper, and cleaner energy sources are developed, and the government starts taking action to curb climate change fears. Coal, though, has likely taken its biggest hit due to the growth of fracking and increased natural gas production.
Manufacturing has been on the ropes for decades now, as globalization has led to the transfer of many of these jobs overseas. But even those jobs are now being lost to robots and artificial intelligence, which is leading to job losses for hundreds of thousands worldwide. Just recently, 60,000 Foxconn workers were replaced with automation. Adidas made a similar move.
The tech sector is brimming with opportunity and well-paying jobs, but it’s also rife with uncertainty. Tech workers from across the spectrum have been let go this year, with one of the more recent large layoffs occuring within Microsoft, who fired more than 1,800 people from its Nokia division. Intel announced plans to lay off 12,000. And many other, smaller firms, are cutting jobs as well.
Huge cuts to education spending across the country mean that there is less money for teachers and administrators. That requires job cuts, and that’s what we’re seeing. There haven’t been any single, large-scale cuts to speak of, but instead, districts and university systems across the country have been firing a dozen or so people here and there. It’s happening at the local level all across the country.
While education employees typically fall under the “government” category, there are other government jobs being lost in addition to those in the education world. State and federal employee have lost their jobs as budget shortfalls have forced governments to tighten their belts, though it’s nothing compared to what we’re seeing internationally. For example, China announced the firing of six million workers just recently.
Though we may rejoice to hear that telecommunications companies are getting more efficient — in theory, anyway — don’t expect Comcast to improve their customer service any time soon. As previously mentioned, Nokia is being hit hard by Microsoft’s firings, and other companies, including Verizon, are planning on making cuts as well.