Half of all humans on planet earth one day suddenly disappear, leaving no trace. My question is, how would this affect the job market? First I assume there would be a lot of grieving over lost loved ones resulting in a need for therapists. Would the world stop investing in research, as it now needs to re-stabilize? Would jobs that require post-secondary education be less important?

"suddenly disappear, leaving no trace" - One second the "victim" would be there and the next they would have totally vanished. This would be randomly distributed over the plant. Because of the random distrabution some "unlucky/vary lucky" areas would be affected more then others.

What I'm looking for: Occupations that would become more desirable or no-longer needed.To focus the cope lets say we are specifically talking about the north American job market. A description of how the world/economy might look and why this would aid the specific job.


Construction workers may not be needed because half the houses would be left empty and people will no-longer be needing to build homes to accommodate the increasing population.

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    $\begingroup$ Before this can be answered, you need to identify if "half the population" is evenly distributed acroll all areas and all age groups, or if it happens in clumps. The answer is massively informed by the distribution. (And honestly, a really good answer is something that a masters degree project might include for a masters in Econ). I'd like to answer this, but it is far to open ended at the moment. $\endgroup$ Feb 25, 2020 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ Anyone else thinking this might be too broad? Specifying "job market" as opposed to "world" narrows the question a lot but the resulting changes are still very, very vast. $\endgroup$
    – Zxyrra
    Feb 25, 2020 at 18:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Zxyrra yes, too broad, and I've made a comment to that effect. $\endgroup$ Feb 25, 2020 at 18:13
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    $\begingroup$ You might also want to take a look at the answers to this thread, as they directly address your scenario: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/149120/… $\endgroup$ Feb 25, 2020 at 18:25
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    $\begingroup$ Take a look at post-Black Death Europe. Around 30% of the workers died. Result was generally an increase in wages and improved freedom for the peasant classes. Every cloud has a silver lining... $\endgroup$
    – DrMcCleod
    Feb 25, 2020 at 19:24

1 Answer 1


So after Thanos snaps his fingers... sorry, I don't know what could've made me think of the MCU movie franchise.


Things Would Be Pretty Much Unchanged

Initially (for months or years), you would see a disaster economy. Vehicles and heavy machinery left unattended would cause damage or fires, and kill more people. Houses left fallow would have to be demolished, lest vermin become an enormous problem (see Detroit as proof of that).

After that... you'd still have half the population, and they'd still need the same things. You'd doubtless see a lot more government regulation, and people would be needed in the bureaucracy to make sure all essential positions are filled, but you'd still need farmers, lawyers, doctors, engineers, plumbers... There'd still be three and a half billion people on the planet, or about the same as in 1967.

So it would be, briefly, hugely disruptive... and then things would get back to normal.

And I think post-secondary educations would be even more in-demand, once universities got their teaching staff back in order. Humanity would be real keen on finding out who did this to us, and returning the favour.

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    $\begingroup$ I almost feel like we need a tag for "What if Thanos" posts. We've had so many of them. $\endgroup$ Feb 25, 2020 at 18:17
  • $\begingroup$ Return the favour. Loved the closing thought. $\endgroup$
    – Gustavo
    Feb 25, 2020 at 18:28
  • $\begingroup$ "a lot more government regulation, and people would be needed in the bureaucracy to make sure all essential positions are filled" Ugh! You've just ruined the silver lining. Half of us were thinking "Yeah, that situation sucks, but at least government would scale back and stop oppressing us so much!" Are you a party pooper or just a realist? >.> Good points though. $\endgroup$
    – Loduwijk
    Feb 25, 2020 at 21:44
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    $\begingroup$ You'd need a lot of logistics. Some areas, no EMTs might have been vanished, other areas, all of them might have been. (Statistics being the capricious things that they are.) Particularly early after the Snap, you'd need a great framework for that. $\endgroup$
    – jdunlop
    Feb 25, 2020 at 22:11

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