20 jobs popular in the 1980s that have almost disappeared
- The US economy has changed a lot since 1980.
- To get a sense of that change, we found 20 industries that employed hundreds of thousands of people in 1980 that have only a fraction as many workers today.
- Clothing and textiles were especially hard hit.
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Life in America has changed a lot since the 1980s: the Cold War ended, the internet went mainstream, and the world became far more connected.
The US economy has also changed a lot since that neon-colored decade. To take a look at how things have transformed, we found 20 industries that have seen massive declines in employment over the last four decades.Using data from the 1980 Census and the 2017 American Community Survey assembled by the Minnesota Population Center's Integrated Public Use Microdata Series project, we looked at what industries had the biggest percent drops in employment between then and now, among industries with at least 100,000 employees in 1980.
Most of the industries on the list are in mining or manufacturing, two sectors that have been radically transformed by technology and globalization over the last four decades. Clothing and textiles were especially hard hit.
Here are the industries, along with the number of employees in 1980 and 2017: