Compared to some parts of the world, the U.S. journalism market has experienced a more severe downturn. According to the American Society of News Editors, the country's newsroom workforce grew from about 45,000 in 1978 to more than 55,000 in 1989, but has been in a general state of decline since then. In 2006, the journalism workforce totalled about 55,000, but dropped to less than 50,000 within the next two years, SFN's Million Dollar Strategies for Newspaper Companies reported.
According to the Amerian Society for Newspaper Edtiors census for 2009, a total of 5,200 newsroom professional jobs were cut, not as high as the 5,900 in 2008. Online-only newspapers also cut 284 jobs in 2009. This caused newsroom employment to drop to 41,500, from 56,400 in 2000. The percentage of losses are higher at big metros and lower at smaller titles, according to "The State of the News Media 2010," a report by The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the number of jobs at newspaper publishing companies in the country has plunged from more than 450,000 in July 1990 to about 300,000 in July 2009. The decline began accelerating after 2001.
The number of employees in other sectors, such as periodical publishing, as well as radio and TV broadcasting, reached a peak in around 2000 and 2001, but those employee numbers have declined since then. The markets were even tougher after 2008, when many more jobs were cut. However, periodical publishing and radio and TV broadcasting have faced a milder recession compared to newspaper publishing.
When contrasted to all other categories in the "Journalistic" industry, the newspaper sector saw the most severe decline, according to the Bureau of Labor. In July 1990, there were more than 450,000 jobs in each category. All other categories in the "Journalistic" industry saw the number of employees rise, peaking at nearly 700,000 in July 2001. The figures have started to fall since then, and by July 2009 were down to a little less than 600,000, according to the report, Million Dollar Strategies for Newspaper Companies, released by SFN and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.