America’s 25 Dying Industries

Print Email

25. Accessories and other apparel manufacturing
> Employment growth from 2005-2014:
-45.3%
> Avg. annual employment growth: -6.5%
> Employment total: 11,571
> Avg. annual wage: $36,896

While employment in the manufacturing sector has decreased by 14.3% since 2005, certain industries within the sector have been hit even harder. In the accessories and other apparel manufacturing industry, employment dropped from 21,155 workers in 2005 to only 11,571 workers in 2014, a 45.3% decline. Accessory and apparel manufacturing in the U.S. has taken a hit due in part to competition from manufacturers overseas. Domestic apparel manufacturing may not be doomed to outsourcing, however. According to industry research firm IBIS World, manufacturers abroad may not yet be equipped to produce certain clothing such as premium jeans and outerwear that are gaining popularity.

24. Newspaper publishers
> Employment growth from 2005-2014:
-45.5%
> Avg. annual employment growth: -6.5%
> Employment total: 201,830
> Avg. annual wage: $47,489

Largely due to the widespread popularity of online news sources, newspaper and print media circulation has waned over the past two decades. From 2005 through 2014, employment in the industry declined from 370,144 U.S. workers to 201,830, a 45.5% contraction. As employees are continually laid off, many offices are also closing. In that same time period, the number of newspaper publishing establishments fell by 15.3%, while establishments in the information sector as a whole rose 6.2%.

As newspaper publishing declines, many major newspapers are focusing on digital presence. According to social research think tank Pew Research Center, online advertising has comprised an increasingly larger share of total ad revenue for most U.S. newspapers over the past decade.

23. Private households
> Employment growth from 2005-2014:
-46.3%
> Avg. annual employment growth: -6.7%
> Employment total: 278,589
> Avg. annual wage: $23,106

Employment in the private households industry, which includes such workers as cooks, maids, butlers, gardeners, and babysitters, is in decline. The number of private household workers in the country has fallen from 518,612 in 2005 to 278,589 in 2014, a 46.3% contraction. Wages, however, have increased. Private household workers’ average income increased from $15,715 a year to $23,106 in the same period. The 47.0% wage increase was one of the larger growths among U.S. industries.

According to the ACS, 46% of the private household workforce is foreign-born, a much larger share than in most other industries.

22. Office supplies, except paper, manufacturing
> Employment growth from 2005-2014:
-47.1%
> Avg. annual employment growth: -6.8%
> Employment total: 11,887
> Avg. annual wage: $45,610

The office supply manufacturing industry was hard hit by two major forces: the Great Recession, which lasted from 2007 to 2009, and the ongoing digital shift in office work. Largely as a result, employment in the industry declined rapidly from 2005 through 2014. Industry employment plunged 47.1% from 22,470 workers in 2005 to only 11,887 last year. While employment across the broader manufacturing sector also dropped by 14.3% over the same time period, employment across the entire U.S. job market rose by 3.8%. As more and more work is done digitally, it will likely be difficult for the industry to recover substantially in the near future.

21. Support activities for printing
> Employment growth from 2005-2014:
-48.3%
> Avg. annual employment growth: -7.1%
> Employment total: 27,482
> Avg. annual wage: $49,443

As is the case with many of the country’s fastest shrinking industries, employment in support activities for printing is declining due in part to increased preference among consumers for digital media. An integral part of the printing industry, support activities include bookbinding and print plate making. A part of the manufacturing sector, employment in support activity for printing declined by 48.3% from 2005 through 2014. Of the roughly 12.2 million manufacturing jobs in the United States, only about 27,500 are in the support activities for printing industry.