In May 2011 we took a look at the 10 fastest growing and dying industries in the United States, according to data compiled by market researcher IBISWorld. In April of this year the company published new findings that are worth reviewing.
Like last year, IBISWorld looked at the change in revenue over a 10-year period (2002-2012) and then projected trends out five years to 2017. IBISWorld did not provide the figures for the 2002 to 2012 period in this year's report, so for the purposes of the lists below, I've ranked the industries by projected change in revenue from 2012 to 2017. (Click here for IBISWorld's report on the fastest growing industries, or here for the report on the fastest dying, both PDFs.)
The 10 fastest growing industries in America are:
- Green & Sustainable Building Construction: 179.3% increase ($103 billion to $287.9 billion)
- Social Network Game Development: 170.7% increase ($4.5 billion to $12.3 billion)
- 3-D Printing Manufacturing: 92.2% increase ($1.7 billion to $3.3 billion)
- Self-tanning Product Manufacturing: 65.9% increase $609.3 million to $1 billion)
- Online Eyeglasses & Contact Lens Sales: 52.5% increase ($347.7 million to $530.3 million)
- Solar Panel Manufacturing: 48.1% increase ($4.6 billion to $6.8 billion)
- Generic Pharmaceutical Manufacturing: 37.7% increase ($52.8 billion to $72.7 billion)
- Pilates & Yoga Studios: 26.1% increase ($6.9 billion to $8.6 billion)
- Hot Sauce Production: 22.4% increase ($1 billion to $1.3 billion)
- For-profit Universities: 19.3% increase ($27 billion to $32.2 billion)
And the 10 fastest dying industries in America are:
- DVD, Game & Video Rental: 52.5% decrease ($5.9 billion to $2.8 billion)
- Photofinishing: 40.6% decrease ($1.5 billion to $897.1 million)
- Recordable Media Manufacturing: 20.1% decrease ($4.1 billion to $3.3 billion)
- Newspaper Publishing: 19.1% decrease ($29.3 billion to $23.7 billion)
- Hardware Manufacturing: 11.3% decrease ($7.5 billion to $6.6 billion)
- Costume & Team Uniform Manufacturing: 9.8% decrease ($986.7 million to $889.6 million)
- Shoe & Footwear Manufacturing: 8.7% decrease ($1.7 billion to $1.5 billion)
- Appliance Repair: 5.6% decrease ($3.7 billion to $3.5 billion)
- Money Market & Other Banking: 4.2% decrease ($834.4 million to $799.3 million)
- Women's & Girls' Apparel Manufacturing: 3.8% decrease ($8.6 billion to $8.3 billion)
Compared with last year's lists, we find some interesting trends. When it comes to the most rapidly advancing industries, almost every single sector from 2011 is missing from the list. There are some correlated industries (2011 had solar power generation and generic video game development), but otherwise, every industry that was projected to grow in 2011 didn't make the top 10 this year. Whether that's a fault of the economy behind the businesses or the economists behind IBISWorld is anybody's guess.
The other important trend to note in the growth list is the number of consumer-driven industries: pilates, self-tanning, hot sauce, online eyeglass stores and (arguably) for-profit universities are all supported directly by buyers, and one could say the same thing for social network game development as well. Compare that with 2011, which was almost entirely service and manufacturing driven (video games being the only tangible product), and you could make the claim that consumers are feeling more confident and that the economy is stabilizing or improving.
When the faltering industries come into play, we see a lot more retention. Newspaper publishing, video and game rentals, and photofinishing all reappear in 2012—the industries that were struggling the most last year have not found their footing and may truly be on their way out. And once again, apparel manufacturing takes up a significant chunk of the list with three slots. In 2011 the dying industries were textile mills, apparel manufacturers and formal/costume rental; this year we have costume and team uniform manufacturing, footwear manufacturing, and women's and girl's apparel. I refuted this in my blog last year, claiming that apparel sales were improving and citing earnings reports from a number of industry companies including Ennis, Broder, Delta and Hanesbrands.
That was last year. Since then, across the board, almost every apparel manufacturer has reported decreased revenue for 2011 due to the massive spike in cotton prices, and Hanesbrands announced intentions to shutter its private label business. Does that indicate that the U.S. apparel industry is dying? I don't think so. While revenue was down for most apparel manufacturers, sales generally remained flat or increased (Broder was up 5 percent, Delta was up 14.5 percent) heading into the new year. As manufacturers work through the remainder of their cotton stores purchased at peak prices, they'll see revenues increase to match sales. What's more, the percentage decrease for the "dying" apparel industries is lower than in 2011 (except for costume and team, which is the same 9%), leading me to believe the market's contraction is slowing rather than growing.
What can we take away from the list? 3-D printing, which we've discussed before, is going to be huge; people are really concerned with looking like Jersey Shore cast members; Netflix had better improve their streaming selection because it doesn't have Game of Thrones yet and come on I mean really; and we should all invest in Hot Sauce Harry's.