Special Report

America's 24 Dying Industries

In 2017, 153.3 million Americans were employed in either full- or part-time jobs, up 5.4% from 2008. Job growth was not uniform across all industries, however. In many industries, the number of people employed shrank considerably, with some industries shedding more than half of their workforce.

Nearly all of the industries that lost a large share of their employees struggled to compete with advancements in technology. America’s increasing reliance on the internet and connected devices spelled disaster for printed media.

Technological advancement has also given way to increased automation in factories, reducing the need for workers. Many industries in the manufacturing sector were also affected by outsourcing. Operations affiliated with U.S. companies employ millions of workers overseas, and many of them are in industries that rank on this list.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed annual employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2008 to 2017 to identify the fastest dying industries. Industries on this list had employment declines of at least 37% in the last decade. Eight industries lost over half of their workers during that time.

Due to automation, outsourcing, and the changing technological landscape, many of the industries that lost the most jobs over the past decade are expected to continue to struggle. Martin Kohli, chief regional economist for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, said that in the next decade publishing jobs will likely continue to decline. “Our 10 year projections did show continued shrinkage in print publishing” Kohli said.

Still, the publishing industry will not likely completely disappear. The continued existence of other industries on this list, like apparel and textile manufacturing, are less certain, according to Kohli.

To identify America’s 25 dying industries, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed employment change from 2008 through 2017 for U.S. industries in the fourth level of detail in the North American Industry Classification System by the Office of Management and Budget. All data, including the number of establishments within each industry and average weekly and annual wages, was retrieved from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.

Click here to see America’s dying industries.

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