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News : Innovation Last Updated: May 18, 2011 - 4:11 AM

US: Top 10 fastest growing industries and top 10 dying industries
By Finfacts Team
May 17, 2011 - 5:38 AM

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President Barack Obama watches as an operator demonstrates the final stage of light fixture assembly during a tour of Orion Energy Systems, Inc in Manitowoc, Wisc., Jan. 26, 2011.

The recession wreaked havoc on a myriad of businesses across the US, however, several industries experienced strong revenue growth despite the economic downturn. Industry research firm IBISWorld identified the top 10 fastest growing industries from 2000 to 2016 and 10 dying industries in the decline stage of their life cycle.

“After compiling the list of fastest growing industries, there were some apparent trends,” said IBISWorld senior analyst Casey Thormahlen. “Each industry on the list experienced growth as a result of one or more of four drivers: Internet growth, environmental issues, cost cutting and evolving technology.”

Internet Growth: IBISWorld says it is no surprise that voice over internet protocol (VoIP), e-commerce and online auctions, and Internet publishing and broadcasting top the list. Each is being supported by the increasing popularity of the Internet for communication and business transactions. The growth of these industries will benefit major players like Comcast , Time Warner Cable, Cox Enterprises, Vonage, Amazon, eBay, Google and Facebook.

Environmental Issues: Growing environmental concerns and favourable government assistance has boosted wind and solar power generation. A continued focus on lifting energy self-sufficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is expected in the next five years, benefiting companies like Next Era Energy and Xcel Energy. Additionally, increased government regulation with regard to the environment has opened up vast opportunities for environmental consulting firms to help clients with compliance.

Cost Cutting: Third-party administrators, insurance claims adjusters, and correctional facilities have all been experiencing growth as private and public entities seek out alternatives amid a slow growing economy. As insurance operators look to cut costs and improve profitability, they are outsourcing work to claims adjusters and administrators like Aon Corporation, Marsh & McLennan Companies and Willis Group Holding. Similarly, as government budgets tighten, correctional facilities are turning to less expensive options, such as the privatization of facilities like Corrections Corporation of America.

Evolving Technology: Biotechnology and video games are an unlikely duo, but both industries are benefiting from constantly evolving technology and product developments, like genetic engineering and 3D video games. Although each industry has taken considerable steps to cut costs in the past few years, diversified product lines and increased demand from an aging population (video games are seeing more female and older players) are key revenue drivers for both industries. Companies that stand to benefit include Syngenta, Monsanto , Genentech and Activision.


Revenue 2010


Revenue Growth


Revenue Growth

Voice Over Internet Protocol Providers (VoIP)

  $ 12,498   193.9%   17.4%

Wind Power

  $ 3,388   16.9%   11.2%

E-Commerce & Online Auctions

  $ 95,005   12.2%   9.4%

Environmental Consulting

  $ 18,153   7.7%   9.4%


  $ 86,971   11.0%   9.6%

Video Games

  $ 38,622   6.2%   8.3%

Solar Power

  $ 69   2.7%   7.9%

Third-Party Administrators & Insurance Claims Adjusters

  $ 57,530   6.9%   7.7%

Correctional Facilities

  $ 34,373   9.1%   7.5%

Internet Publishing & Broadcasting

  $ 32,573   25.2%   6.8%

The 10 dying industries

All of the 10 industries listed are in the decline stage of their life cycle, have observed a sizable contraction in both revenue and establishments from 2000 to 2010 and are expected to continue experience revenue and establishment declines through 2016. All these industries also exhibit at least one of the following detrimental factors: damaging external competition, supplanting advancements in technology and industry stagnation. Industries and companies that experience these conditions may be vulnerable to their own demise in the future.

“Although these industries are all facing negative numbers, the operators in them aren’t necessarily on the brink of death,” says IBISWorld senior analyst Toon van Beeck. “Firms that protect their strength in certain market segments, focus on niche opportunities and capitalize on the dwindling number of competitors can often reap the greatest rewards as sole operators, obtaining market survival and profitability.”

Manufacturing: These sectors include: Men’s and Boys’ Apparel Manufacturing; Women’s and Girls’ Apparel Manufacturing; Costume, Uniform, Infant and Other Apparel Manufacturing; Hosiery and Sock Mills; Textile Mills; Apparel Knitting Mills; and Carpet and Rug Mills. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is a key player in all of the mill industries, while Hanesbrands  is a strong player in mill and apparel manufacturing industries.

Retail: Record Stores and Manufactured Home Dealers industries are highlighted in IBISWorld’s 10 dying industries. Industry exits have already occurred for many major players within the Record Stores industry, including Virgin Media and MTS Incorporated. In the Manufactured Home Dealers industry, Berkshire Hathaway also has a presence through its subsidiary Clayton Homes, the biggest player in the industry.

IBISWorld says while many people may think that the Book Stores industry would be a given in  the dying retail space, the numbers do not point to that direction. 

Information: The Wired Telecommunication Carriers, Newspaper Publishing and Video Postproduction Services industries are suffering the most due to the rapid change in technology. While major players like AT&T and Verizon continue to dominate the Wired Telecommunication Carriers industry, they are generating lower returns each year as consumers switch to VoIP and wireless products.

Other: This final category includes the industries of DVD, Game and Video Rental; Formal Wear and Costume Rental; and Photofinishing. In 2000, Blockbuster was a thriving business and the most dominant player in the DVD, Game and Video Rental industry, but the company has since gone bankrupt. And while Eastman Kodak and Fujifilm were once major and prominent companies within the Photofinishing industry, they now represent only a fragment of their presence in their heydays.



Total Revenue
Decline 2000-2010
Total Forecast
Revenue Decline
Wired Telecommunications Carriers
  $ 154,095   -55%   -37%
  $ 54,645   -50%   -10%
Newspaper Publishing
  $ 40,726   -36%   -19%
Apparel Manufacturing
  $ 12,800   -77%   -9%
DVD, Game & Video Rental
  $ 7,839   -36%   -19%
Manufactured Home Dealers
  $ 4,537   -74%   -62%
Video Postproduction Services
  $ 4,276   -25%   -11%
Record Stores
  $ 1,803   -76%   -40%
  $ 1,602   -69%   -39%
Formal Wear & Costume Rental
  $ 736   -35%   -15%

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© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

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