Newspapers: Employee Numbers Plummeting

Newspapers are suffering severely as more and more people move away from the daily newspaper as their source of news. Apart from the number of newspapers that are either cutting back on how often they publish—becoming tri-weekly or weekly, or are shutting down operations completely—another health indicator is the declining number of people employed by newspaper publishers.

The following chart from the Business Insider site’s “Chart of the Day” shows the massive and sudden drop in people employed by newspaper publishers in the USA. Since the year 2000 around 160,000 newspaper industry full-time jobs have been shed.

At the end of 2009 the number of direct full-time employees in the newspaper industry in the USA had fallen to 1950 levels and at current redundancy rates this number is likely to fall below 200,000 by the end of 2015.


It is estimated that, as a knock-on effect, up to six indirect workers are negatively impacted by the loss of each full-time worker that leaves a newspaper. Based on this estimation this means that 720,000 indirect workers have been negatively impacted in some way by the job loses since 2000. This collateral impact ranges from job loss through to a cut in hours, or a reduction in income (due to direct and indirect reduced sales). Such indirect workers would include:

  • Newspaper stall holders.
  • Newspaper agencies.
  • Delivery contractors.
  • Material suppliers (mainly paper—but also binding, packaging, and inks).
  • Equipment suppliers.
  • Outsourced maintenance and support.
  • Outsourced advertising sourcing and management.
  • Newspaper boys.

[Ctrl+Click the chart to open the Business Insider site in a new Tab]