There’s not much data nowadays about the health of the newspaper industry overall, but some sources are still publishing figures, including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a division of the Department of Labor, which tracks total employment in the newspaper publishing industry. The news here isn’t great, but nor is it terrible. According to the BLS, the newspaper workforce more or less stabilized over the last two years, following a precipitous decline over the previous decade.
Total newspaper employment basically remained steady last year, slipping slightly from 230,900 workers in 2013 to 228,900 in 2014, for less than 1% drop over this period. While that isn’t quite good news, it will come as a relief following over 10 years of steep declines. In 2000, the newspaper industry employed 459,400 people, meaning the total headcount has fallen by exactly half over the intervening period.Most of this loss occurred from 2005-2010, when total employment plunged from 395,800 people to 266,700 people, for a 33% drop in five years.
As noted, other sources of industry data have dried up in recent years.
The Newspaper Association of America, which long published quarterly reports on total newspaper revenues, stopped publishing these figures in favor of annual revenue reports; however the 2014 report hasn’t been released. The latest available figures from the NAA show total revenues falling from $49.4 billion in 2005 to $23.6 billion in 2013, for a 52% decline over this period.
Separate figures from the American Society of News Editors showed total newspaper newsroom employment falling from 55,000 in the middle of the last decade to 36,700 in 2014.