While plenty of industries have shrunk over the last couple of years, few have been hit as badly as newspaper publishing, which was already contracting before the economic downturn began.
Since then, economic woes have simply reinforced the long-term trend. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, total employment in the newspaper publishing industry has plunged from 414,000 in 2001 to 246,020 in 2011, equaling a 40.6% drop in 10 years. The 2011 figure is down 5% from 258,950 in 2010 and 20.4% from 309,000 in 2009.
While most newspaper publishers have done their best to keep newsroom numbers up, sweeping layoffs have inevitably affected editorial staff.
Separate figures from the American Society of Newspaper Editors indicate that total newsroom employment has shrunk from 56,400 in 2001 to 40,566 in 2012, for a 28.1% decline in a little over a decade. The 2012 figure is down 2.5% from 41,609 in 2011.