US Newsroom Staffing Has Dropped 26% in 12 Years, Research Shows

Employment has plummeted at American newspapers, but the digital publishing sector has offset much of the losses

newsroom employment 2008-2020
Pew Research Center

The number of digital newsroom employees rose 144% from 2008 to 2020, helping offset a drop in newspaper newsrooms of 57%, Pew Research Center data analysis from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows. 

According to the analysis, overall newsroom employment in the U.S. has dropped by 26% since 2008, as digital-native news organizations experienced “considerable gains.”

Despite the 144% increase, the number of newsroom employees in the digital-native sector remained at “about 13,000 below the number in the newspaper sector in 2020,” as the number of newspaper newsroom employees went from roughly 71,000 to about 31,000 between 2008 and 2020, while the number of Digital-native newsroom employees went from 7,400 workers to roughly 18,000.

Due to the decline in newspaper jobs, the sector now accounts for an overall smaller portion of overall newsroom employment than it once did. According to the data analysis, newspaper employees made up about 62% of newsroom jobs overall, but by 2020, the share had dropped to about 36%.

As of 2020, television broadcasting employees account for 10% more of the overall newsroom employees than they did in 2008. Similarly, digital-native news outlets increased from 6% of all newsroom employees to 21% from 2008 to 2020.


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