Second- and third-worst professions: Mail sorters and postal clerks Median pay: $53,080 of mail sorters, $53,100 for postal clerks
Declining mail volumes seem poised to send many mail-sorter and postal-clerk jobs to the dead-letter office. The BLS estimates America will have just 34,000 postal clerks in 2020 -- a 48.2% drop from 2010's 65,600. That's the third-biggest decline for any U.S. profession. Mail-sorter jobs will drop an even steeper 48.5%, declining to 73,000 positions in 2020 from 142,000 in 2010. Morisi says mail sorters face sharp declines not only because fewer people are mailing letters, but also because improving technology makes it easier to sort letters using fewer people. Worst profession: Shoe-machine operator Median pay: $26,280
The BLS predicts employers will give 53.4% of all U.S. shoe-machine operators the boot between 2010 and 2020 -- the worst outlook for any U.S. job. The agency estimates total employment for shoe-machine operators, who run the factory equipment that makes shoes, will drop to 1,500 jobs as of 2020 from 3,200 in 2010. Morisi blames the decline primarily on offshoring.