One man’s garbage is another man’s job.
Between 1 and 5 percent of the world’s urban population is employed in solid waste management, meaning anything to do with the collection and disposal of waste, according to a recent report from the World Bank (h/t the Washington Post ). That number may only be poised to grow. The globe’s urban residents generate about 1.3 billion tons of solid waste per year, but by 2025 that number will almost double to 2.2 billion tons per year, the report found.
And with all that garbage, “Municipal solid waste management is the most important service a city provides,” according to the report’s authors.
Solid waste may be gross and environmentally detrimental in some cases, but in addition to being a job creator, it’s also a sign of a robust economy, the report found.
“In most cities, the quickest way to reduce waste volumes is to reduce economic activity -- not generally an attractive option,” the report says. “Solid waste is the most visible and pernicious by-product of a resource-intensive, consumer-based economic lifestyle.”
About 370,000 people are employed in waste management service industry in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With an unemployment rate of 10.3 percent in May -- higher than the national rate of 8.2 percent -- job-seekers looking for work in waste management may want to look outside the U.S.
Still, there are other unexpected sectors where unemployed Americans may have a good chance of finding a job. Employment of dieticians and nutritionists is expected to grow at a 20 percent faster rate than other occupations, according to BLS data cited by Fox Business. Other jobs with talent shortages: drivers, nurses and teachers, according to MapowerGroup.