Lost journalism jobs hits record high

The U.S. labor market may be thriving, but it hasn’t been kind to at least one industry in 2019 – news.

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According to new data from The Columbia Journalism Review, 3,385 journalists lost their jobs in 2019.

The trend, however, has been ongoing for years. In fact, employment in newsrooms declined by 25 percent between 2008 and 2018, the CJR said. Most of those losses, researchers noted, were at print newspapers.

More recently, however, digital outlets have also found themselves in the crosshairs.

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Among the companies that laid off employees this year were Buzzfeed, Vice, HuffPost and Gannett.

The largest round of layoffs – 800 workers – took place at Verizon Communications last January amid a global restructuring effort.

The McClatchy Company laid off 255 workers in February, as tracked by CJR.

USA Today publisher Gannett laid off 400 employees in January, before it was taken over by GateHouse for $1.1 billion last month.

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As the U.S. unemployment rate sits at multi-decade lows, many industries are having a hard time finding enough qualified workers – including landscapers, truck drivers and educators.

But the news industry has been dealing with a host of specific challenges as fewer people read print papers and companies struggle to generate sufficient ad revenue to successfully transition to the digital realm.

Consequentially, there has been a move among journalists to unionize. From Gawker to Vice Media, the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, journalists are increasingly organizing to fight for stability amid uncertain market conditions.

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*This article was updated on 12-19-19 to reflect The McClatchy Company layoffs.