ENDANGERED CAREERS FOR AMERICAN ENTREPRENEURS America’s job outlook may be healthy, with many industries planning on growth in the coming years. But there are indicators that some occupations are becoming obsolete. Occupations facing decline include farmers and ranchers, stock clerks and order fillers, sewing machine operators, computer operators, secretaries, telemarketers, meter readers, parts salespeople, and telephone operators. These career fields are endangered as a result of technological advances and corporate changes. Nearly 155,000 jobs for farmers and ranchers are endangered due to consolidation of farms into fewer and larger corporate operations that are replacing small independent farms. The growing use of computers for inventory control and the installation of new, automated equipment are expected to replace the jobs of 115,000 stock clerks and order fillers. The growing volume of imports, greater use of offshore assembly, and increased productivity through new automation will contribute to the loss of 93,000 sewing machine operator jobs. Private delivery companies and electronic communications may replace 59,000 positions for mail clerks and mail-machine operators. Nearly 49,000 computer operator jobs are being replaced with the latest technology. Telemarketing jobs are losing steam due to the number of people choosing not to receive telemarketing calls and the greater use of blocking technology. Meter reader positions are being replaced with the latest technology. Electronic commerce ordering and reordering systems will automate the work of nearly 16,000 parts salespersons. Voice recognition systems will lead to a decline in the need for telephone operators. Some of the hottest growth areas include elder care and pharmaceuticals for an aging baby boomer population. Entertainment products, the latest technological devices, and household appliances are also in high demand.

 THINK CRITICALLY 1. Why should potential entrepreneurs pay attention to national trends for different occupational areas? 2. Why should the buying habits of baby boomers be considered when determining entrepreneurial ventures to pursue? 3. What entrepreneurship opportunities may be available to small farmers and ranchers? 4. How has international trade affected entrepreneurship opportunities in the United States?


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