Recently, Yahoo! Finance published an article from Business Insider sharing information about the 10 fastest dying industries in the United States. A lot of these industries are dying out because of new technology, and the way it allows consumers to do a lot more of what they want — for themselves.

It’s a good idea to consider the impact that these dying industries can have on you. Whether you work in one of these industries (perhaps it’s time to update the resume), or whether you are investing in them, it might be time to rethink your strategy. Here are the 10 industries that appear to be disappearing quickly, according to the Business Insider article:

  1. Photofinishing
  2. Appliance Repair
  3. DVD, Game, and Video Rental
  4. Money Market and Other Banking
  5. Newspaper Publishing
  6. Recordable Media Manufacturing
  7. Hardware Manufacturing
  8. Shoe and Footwear Manufacturing
  9. Costume and Team Uniform Manufacturing
  10. Women’s and Girls Apparel Manufacturing

Some of these industries are disappearing because of technology, of course (newspapers especially). Online streaming, and the ability to rent movies on demand through TV services, as well as through game consoles, mean that there is no reason to leave the house and physically rent these items. And, even though the article didn’t go into it, the upcoming generation is more comfortable with completely digital media. The need to buy physical discs may be on the out. Maybe in another five years, Blu-ray and DVD manufacturers will be on a list like this one.

Other industries, though, are facing extinction here in the United States because of competition. Hardware manufacturers and clothing manufacturers face competition from overseas. Imports cost much less in some cases. According to Business Insider, the only hope for these manufacturers is to make high end luxury goods that aren’t so easy to outsource overseas.

What Can You Do about It?

Depending on your strategy, there are some things you can do about these dying industries. One thing you can do is shift your investments. Identify major players in the dying industries, and consider changing your asset allocation to something that is less likely to be susceptible to declines in the coming years. If you think that an industry is dying, get out now, before values plunge further.

You also might have the opportunity to use some of these dying industries to spur your own business ideas forward. Photo finishing is a dying industry, since so many people can do their own photos online. But that doesn’t mean there is no market for photos. A number of amateurs are finding that they can make a few bucks taking pictures of special events, and even doing portraits. It doesn’t cost much to get the equipment you need, and you can do the photofinishing online. It costs less than “professional” work in a dying industry, but you can make a little on the side. I have two friends who do this, making a fairly good side income.

Look around for other opportunities as well. You may not be able to compete with cheap imported goods, but there is still a market for high quality items. If you are good with handcrafting, you might be able to sell some of your goods to those weary of low-quality, cheap items. And, if you work in one of these dying industries, now might be the time to acquire a new, more marketable skill, and look for another job before the layoffs start.

Even though there are dying industries, there are other opportunities to take their place. Keep your eyes open and look for those opportunities, and you’ll be fine.



Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.