U.S. newspapers have shed half of their newsroom employees since 2008

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Newsroom employment in the United States declined 23% between 2008 and 2019

Newsroom employment at U.S. newspapers continues to plummet, falling by around half since 2008, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. But a modest increase in jobs after 2014 in other news-producing sectors – especially digital-native organizations – offset some of the losses at newspapers, helping to stabilize the overall number of U.S. newsroom employees in the last five years.

The years covered in the current analysis predate the spread of the coronavirus in the United States. The economic effects of the virus have led to a fresh round of layoffs, pay cuts and other changes at U.S. media outlets, especially newspapers.

From 2008 to 2019, overall newsroom employment in the U.S. dropped by 23%, according to the new analysis. In 2008, there were about 114,000 newsroom employees – reporters, editors, photographers and videographers – in five industries that produce news: newspaper, radio, broadcast television, cable and “other information services” (the best match for digital-native news publishers). By 2019, that number had declined to about 88,000, a loss of about 27,000 jobs.

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