America’s 24 Dying Industries

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Source: Thinkstock

19. Textile and fabric finishing mills
> Employment change 2007-2016: -44.4%
> Employment total: 23,739
> Wage growth 2007-2016: 23.1%
> Avg. annual wage: $44,629

Textiles manufacturing is one of many industries negatively affected by increased competition from foreign cotton importers and the decline of the U.S. manufacturing sector. Employment at textile and fabric finishing mills fell by 44.4% from 2007 to 2016, more than nearly any other industry in the country. One factor that contributed to the decline of employment in textile was the phasing out of the 1974 Multifiber Arrangement, which had imposed quotas on how much the United States, Canada, and Europe could import from developing countries such as China and Bangladesh and was intended to preserve domestic textile production. Since the last import quota expired in 2004, Chinese textile and apparel imports to the United States have more than doubled.

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18. Other publishers
> Employment change 2007-2016: -44.7%
> Employment total: 14,942
> Wage growth 2007-2016: 29.3%
> Avg. annual wage: $65,699

The other publishers industry category includes establishments that publish works other than newspapers, magazines, books, directories, mailing lists, or music. Examples may include publishers of art prints, calendars, or greeting cards. Like the rest of the publishing industry, such niche publishers have struggled to compete against the growing number of digital media platforms. While employment across all sectors in the United States rose 4.8% between 2007 and 2016, the number of workers employed at alternative publishers fell by 44.7%, among the most of any industry.

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17. Other depository credit intermediation
> Employment change 2007-2016: -45.3%
> Employment total: 11,374
> Wage growth 2007-2016: 19.6%
> Avg. annual wage: $72,701

Depository credit intermediation, or bank lending, declined substantially after the Great Recession, and has yet to fully recover. Depressed U.S. consumer confidence in the wake of the recession is likely one reason for the reduced demand for loans, as fewer Americans are seeking loans to start new businesses. Additionally, the four largest U.S. banks — Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo — have been less willing to lend to small businesses. As of 2014, new loans from the top four banks had fallen to 50% of their 2006 levels. Other depository credit intermediation establishments — which includes industrial and private banks — are also feeling the pinch. Employment at other depository credit intermediation establishments has fallen 45.3% since 2007, more than nearly any other industry.

Source: Thinkstock

16. Curtain and linen mills
> Employment change 2007-2016: -45.6%
> Employment total: 20,605
> Wage growth 2007-2016: 24.3%
> Avg. annual wage: $36,548

Like the rest of the manufacturing sector, employment at curtain and linen mills in the United States has declined substantially over the past decade. Since the last of the international import quotas protecting the domestic textile sector were lifted in 2004, U.S. imports of Chinese textiles and apparel have more than doubled. As competition from Chinese manufacturing outfits increased over the past decade, many American textile manufacturers ceased commercial operations. The number of curtain and linen mills fell from 2,332 in 2007 to 1,493 in 2016, a 36.0% decline. Employment at curtain and linen mills fell by 45.6% over the same period.

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15. Savings institutions
> Employment change 2007-2016: -46.0%
> Employment total: 122,229
> Wage growth 2007-2016: 23.1%
> Avg. annual wage: $67,412

While employment across all sectors rose 4.8% between 2007 and 2016, employment at savings institutions, such as savings banks and savings and loan associations, fell by 46.0%. One reason for the steep decline may be reduced demand for banking services. Americans’ confidence in the U.S. banking system was eroded during the Great Recession and has yet to fully recover. According to a Gallup poll, just 27% of Americans are confident in the country’s banking system, compared to 53% in 2004. Additionally, the rise of online and mobile banking applications, which allow customers to deposit checks and perform other banking tasks online, has reduced the need for physical bank locations.