A Tale of Disappearing Jobs

Kolkata, in India, is among the last places that still has rickshaws pulled manually as one of the options for public transport. (Image:  pixabay  /  CC0 1.0)
Kolkata, in India, is among the last places that still has rickshaws pulled manually as one of the options for public transport. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

International Workers’ Day or Labor Day, celebrated on May 1st every year, honors the working classes as truly the backbone of every nation. It is a national public holiday in many countries highlighting the success of the labor movements for the betterment of workers’ lives.

Over the past few years, the idea of labor and occupation has evolved. A person’s occupation or job defines their contribution to the society. It is also the means through which the person can provide for their family and be able to fulfill their dreams and aspirations. An individual prepares oneself through education and work experience to be occupied in the best possible capacity with high returns.

In today’s world, with the relentless advancement of technology, the landscape, scope, and nature of occupational opportunities are rapidly changing. While some jobs only require certain additional levels of credentials or qualifications to sustain, technology has made certain other jobs outdated.

Automation and robotics are the main culprits for the loss of these jobs, as robots even compete with doctors to conduct serious operations. The Bank of England, in 2017, stated that about 15 million jobs in the U.K. alone may be lost due to robotics and technological advancements. As a result, people will have to learn new skills and steer clear of occupations that technology can easily take over. Here’s a look at a few jobs that are on the way to becoming obsolete.

Automation and robotics are the main culprits for the loss of these jobs as robots even compete with doctors to conduct serious operations. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Automation and robotics are the main culprits for the loss of these jobs, as robots even compete with doctors to conduct serious operations. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Rickshaw pullers

Kolkata, in India, is among the last places that still have rickshaws pulled manually as one of the options for public transport. Automatic rickshaws have been introduced to India for decades now and you will find them in abundance in many major cities. This only goes to show that there is no real scope for rickshaw pullers in the future. To add to that, India, like many other countries, has also experienced the Uber boom which is even threatening the business of automatic rickshaws. The rising external temperatures and pollution level are making more people opt out of the basic hand-pulled rickshaw option to travel from one place to another.

DVD rentals and storekeepers

Blockbuster’s bankruptcy was really the end of the video rental business, or even the sale and purchase of DVDs for personal viewing. Many similar shops around the world have closed because of the onslaught of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. These new entities offer customers the option to watch movies online, anytime they wish, without purchasing the movie or having to “return” the loaned DVDs in a timely manner. You just need to purchase a monthly or annual membership and you gain access to the entire database online.

Blockbuster’s bankruptcy was really the end of the video rental business or even the sale and purchase of DVDs for personal viewing. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Blockbuster’s bankruptcy was really the end of the video rental business or even the sale and purchase of DVDs for personal viewing. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Neon sign makers

Neon signs were quite vogue in past decades. Fremont Street in Las Vegas, major streets of Hong Kong, and many other cities have iconic signs made with neon lights. However, with the rising interest in LED lights, which offer brighter, longer, and even eco-friendly lighting, many people are opting to replace neon lights with LED lights. While the expert craftsmen needed for this art have been few, even during its prime, these trained experts are struggling to find an alternate occupation to sustain a living. Wu Chi-kai, one of the 30 experts in Hong Kong, states: “I’ve been working with neon lights all my life. I can’t think of anything else I’d be better suited for.”

Neon Signs were quite the vogue in past decades. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Neon Signs were quite vogue in past decades. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Hand-washers

Automatic machines, such as washing machines and dryers or a combination of the two, are steadily making this occupation outdated. Delia Veloz from Ecuador is one such individual who risks losing her livelihood because of these machines. She has been in this business for more than 50 years. However, many people are now able to afford these machines or go for shared laundry rooms in their housing complex. As a result, they no longer need to pay someone separately to get their clothes washed.

Automatic machines such as washing machines and dryers or the combination of the two are steadily making this occupation outdated. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Automatic machines, such as washing machines and dryers or a combination of the two, are steadily making this occupation outdated. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Tourist photographers

With the age of selfies and the latest phones with ever improving cameras of rising megapixels, many tourists are walking around with the ability to click the best pictures for themselves and on their own. Phones even have features to enhance your image and change the lighting of an area in the photo! As a result, tourist photographers who made a living out of clicking pictures for tourist at various sightseeing spots are losing their business.

With the age of selfies and the latest phones with ever improving cameras of rising megapixels, many tourists are walking around with the ability to click the best pictures for themselves and on their own. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

With the age of selfies and the latest phones with ever improving cameras of rising megapixels, many tourists are walking around with the ability to click the best pictures for themselves and on their own. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

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