20 Jobs That Were Popular In The ‘50s And Are Currently Dying Out

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Using data from the 1950 Census and the 2017 American Community Survey, here are the biggest percentage drops in employment of major industries with at least 100,000 employees in 1950.

Agricultural machinery and tractor manufacturing:
1950 – 177,522 people were employed
2019 – 108,392 (39% drop)

Rubber products manufacturing:
1950 – 243,401 people were employed
2017 – 147,759 (39% drop)

Petroleum products wholesale trade:
1950 – 166,488 people were employed
2017 – 94,992 (43% drop)

Farm product wholesale trade:
1950 – 114,685 people were employed
2017 – 62,695 (45% drop)

Primary non-ferrous metal manufacturing:
1950 – 235,856 people were employed
2017 – 118,779 (50% drop)

Fuel and ice retailing:
1950 – 172,841 people were employed
2017 – 85,806 (50% drop)

Private household services:
1950 – 1,713,352 people were employed
2017 – 847,769 (51% drop)

Agriculture:
1950 – 7,088,904 people were employed
2017 – 3,429,844 (52% drop)

Logging:
1950 – 187,314 people were employed
2017 – 80,998 (57% drop)

Laundering, cleaning, and dyeing:
1950 – 696,742 people were employed
2017 – 295,395 (58% drop)

Blast furnaces, steelworks, and rolling mills:
1950 – 691,184 people were employed
2017 – 270,367 (61% drop)

Water cargo transportation:
1950 – 212,979 people were employed
2017 – 74,362 (65% drop)

Primary iron and steel industries:
1950 – 282,922 people were employed
2017 – 88,234 (69% drop)

Apparel and accessories manufacturing:
1950 – 1,006,386 people were employed
2017 – 207,023 (79% drop)

Tobacco product manufacturing:
1950 – 104,689 people were employed
2017 – 20,286 (81% drop)

Railroads and railway transportation:
1950 – 1,436,681 people were employed
2017 – 254,836 (82% drop)

Yarn, thread, and fabric manufacturing:
1950 – 897,266 people were employed
2017 – 107,607 (88% drop)

Footwear manufacturing:
1950 – 277,639 people were employed
2017 – 32,577 (88% drop)

Coal mining:
1950 – 537,702 people were employed
2017 – 62,536 (88% drop)

Knitting mills:
1950 – 208,863 people were employed
2017 – 18,074 (91% drop)

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