WASHINGTON ( TheStreet) -- The 244,000 jobs created in April and the U.S. unemployment rate's rise to 9% in the same month is just another reminder of the near-constant state of flux in America's work force. Technology has no problem telling people who string wire for landline phones, develop photos, sell books to a mass market or produce news or any other sort of editorial content on paper that their days are numbered.According to IBISWorld, roughly 200 U.S. industries in its database of 700 are in a state of decline. That unfortunate 29% will continue its slide until roughly 2016. A combination of tech savvy and adaptive tenacity is keeping the rest alive, but sometimes it's just a matter of knowing which way the winds are blowing.
If you've Googled (GOOG) yourself lately and thought "Man, this LinkedIn page is better than constantly updating a resume" or "Boy am I glad I finally figured out my Facebook and Twitter privacy settings," you're about as safe as any other Internet user. If you do that same search and discover that an old college acquaintance tagged you in a picture with your one-time roommates Bung and Wheezeman smoking some unknown substance out of a piece of produce, you've got problems. Fortunately, the aspiring ethics professors, chief executives and federal politicians among us can pay anywhere from $400 a search page to $3,000 a month for "reputation management" services from Reputation.com and Integrity Defenders. Their hundreds of staffers will not only help you expunge your ill-conceived comments-field diatribes against your future employer, but bury it pages deep behind shiny new social networking pages and profiles. Do you own a restaurant you feel is being slagged excessively by foodies on Yelp? Reputation.com's $700-a-year MyReputation VP can help bring loyal customers' positive reviews to the fore. It seems costly, but it's a small price to pay considering that a Microsoft (MSFT)-funded survey of 2,500 recruiters last year found that 79% of human resources staff see online reputation as a factor in hiring and 85% feel a positive online rep can help push a candidate toward employment -- compared with the 7% of potential employees who feel online information affects their job hunt.