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Australia’s Disappearing Jobs: Delving into the Future Landscape

In the whirlwind of modern economic shifts, which professions in Australia are fading into the annals of history?



The intricate tapestry of professional life is under continuous development. Be it the dizzying pace of technological innovation, environmental considerations, global economic dynamics, or the transformative power of societal pressures - the job market responds to it all. Australia finds itself at the crossroads, with numerous industries showing glaring signs of decline. Let's take a deeper dive into the industries in Australia that are waning as we move toward the end of 2023.


The Transformation of Occupations in a Modernising Economy


In the ever-changing landscape of the job market, certain occupations are undergoing a metamorphosis rather than an outright obliteration. For instance, the declining demand for roles like data-entry clerks or administrative secretaries, as identified by the ‘Future of Jobs Survey 2020’, is a clear reflection of the increasing reliance on technology. The rise of automation and also that AI is nudging these roles towards redundancy.


However, this contraction is accompanied by a curious expansion elsewhere. While traditional human resources specialists might find reduced demand, the HR spectrum is simultaneously opening avenues, especially in overseeing transformative workforce changes. Similarly, although postal service clerks might be dwindling, the surge in package delivery offers immense potential. The realm of construction offers another intriguing perspective; though construction labourers are witnessing reduced demand, the broader industry is poised for growth, reflecting a shift in the nature of in-demand roles.


Contrary to a complete termination, many of these roles are simply undergoing transformation. The crux lies in recognising these shifts and being adaptable enough. While roles such as accountants, financial analysts, or factory workers may wane, there's an underlying ripple effect that creates opportunities elsewhere, often demanding related skills and experiences. This dynamic demonstrates the importance of versatility in the modern workforce, where roles might not vanish but rather evolve.


Commercial and Industrial Building Construction:


Despite achieving commendable highs in the recent past, this industry is on shaky grounds. The aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and changing architectural preferences have impacted its robustness.


Retail Property Operators:


The digital age has ushered in a decline for traditional retail spaces. As online shopping gains traction, brick-and-mortar establishments, and the retail properties they occupy face existential challenges.


Land Development and Subdivision:


This industry, which once flourished in response to building investment surges, witnessed a peak in 2020-21. Factors like the Federal Government's HomeBuilder stimulus and low-interest rates played catalysts. But with stimuli receding and interest rates ascending, clouds of contraction loom large.


Investment Banking and Securities Brokerage:


Global economic uncertainties have cast a shadow over this once-thriving industry, marking a stark decline in revenue growth by a whopping -29.8%. While there was a glimmer of hope with occasional bursts in IPO activities and mergers, the advent of online trading platforms and compliance costs are proving to be formidable adversaries.


Air Freight Services:


Contrary to its previous high-flying status, the Air Freight Services industry is now navigating turbulent skies, expecting a contraction in revenue growth by -24.7%. Though global supply chain bottlenecks initially propelled airfreight prices, the sector has been significantly bruised by international border closures.


Prefabricated Wooden Building Manufacturing:


Despite its efforts to innovate, this industry is losing ground. The competition from prefabricated structures using alternate materials like metal, PVC, and fibre cement is intense. Even though there's been an annual growth of 4.5%, the future trajectory isn't promising with a projected -17.6% growth.


Milk Powder Manufacturing:


An industry traditionally associated with Australia's agricultural prowess now grapples with challenges. Diminishing raw milk production, coupled with shifts in dairy product preferences, has put milk powder manufacturers on the back foot.


Cotton Growing:


Australia's cotton farms, once the pride of the agricultural sector, have endured extreme revenue fluctuations. Drought conditions and environmental factors have wreaked havoc on an industry that once thrived.


Alumina Production:


Australia's prowess in the aluminium supply chain is threatened. With fluctuating prices and increasing production costs, the future for the alumina production industry looks bleak.


Bricklaying Services:


Brick and mortar, iconic in Australian construction, face challenges from evolving housing preferences. As the urban skyline shifts towards high-rise apartments, the demand for traditional brick homes wanes.


Historically, when jobs become economically nonviable, they face the danger of obsolescence. The UK coal mines' closure saga is a testament. While cheaper foreign alternatives played the bad guy, societal and environmental considerations nowadays sound the death knell for such industries. Notably, as we grapple with climate change, industries like coal mining are under the scanner.

Then there's the technological titan - artificial intelligence. With its potential to redefine job scopes, it threatens to make certain roles redundant. Similarly, political landscapes and policies, driven by economic imperatives, can alter the fate of entire industries. Australia's move from car manufacturing is a case in point.


Yet, with every sunset, there's a sunrise. As certain industries wane, others emerge, presenting novel opportunities. The key lies in adaptation, innovation, and a readiness to embrace the new while bidding adieu to the old.

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