GOBankingRates

Industries That Practically Disappeared in 2020

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Over time, industries rise and fall based on demographic trends, shifting consumer preferences and technological developments. However, in 2020, entire industries that were thriving as recently as 2019 were decimated, as the coronavirus pandemic resulted in stay-at-home orders and shutdowns of businesses across the globe. Some industries suffered so greatly that they virtually disappeared.

Read More: The 20 Industries That Will Never Be the Same After the Coronavirus

To help shine a light on which industries were hurting the most, GOBankingRates analyzed data from IBISWorld regarding the fastest-declining industries of 2020 in terms of revenue growth. Most of the industries on this list endured a near-total cessation of operations in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related: Industries That Suffered the Most in 2020

The good news is that most of these industries are likely to see at least a partial recovery in 2021 and beyond. Distribution of a coronavirus vaccine has already begun in the United States, and if the virus can be contained, consumer spending is likely to recover. However, the future of these industries, which were brought nearly to the brink in 2020, remains uncertain for as long as the pandemic endures.

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Sightseeing Transportation

  • 2019-2020 revenue decline: 41%
  • Average industry decline 2015-2020: 9.7%
  • Market size: $3 billion
  • Number of businesses: 8,650
  • Industry employment: 28,648
  • Example job: Tour and travel guides
  • 2019 employment: 57,300
  • 2019-2020 projected growth (pre-COVID): 5%
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Laser Tag Arenas

  • 2019-2020 revenue decline: 41.3%
  • Average industry decline 2015-2020: 8.1%
  • Market size: $372 million
  • Number of businesses: 931
  • Industry employment: 6,629
  • Example job: Cashiers
  • 2019 employment: 3,600,900
  • 2019-2020 projected growth (pre-COVID): -7%

2020 in Review: The Year in Pandemic Activities

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Trade Show and Conference Planning

  • 2019-2020 revenue decline: 42.6%
  • Average industry decline 2015-2020: 8.2%
  • Market size: $9 billion
  • Number of businesses: 5,595
  • Industry employment: 72,478
  • Example job: Meeting, convention and event planners
  • 2019 employment: 138,600
  • 2019-2020 projected growth (pre-COVID): 8%

Read: Companies That Performed Exceptionally Well in 2020

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Mining, Oil and Gas Machinery Manufacturing

  • 2019-2020 revenue decline: 43.4%
  • Average industry decline 2015-2020: 14.1%
  • Market size: $11 billion
  • Number of businesses: 732
  • Industry employment: 33,984
  • Example job: Metal and plastic workers
  • 2019 employment: 1,109,400
  • 2019-2020 projected growth (pre-COVID): -7%

Read More: 13 Everyday Products You Use That Are Still Being Affected By the Coronavirus

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Petroleum Refining

  • 2019-2020 revenue decline: 44.2%
  • Average industry decline 2015-2020: 10.2%
  • Market size: $295 billion
  • Number of businesses: 111
  • Industry employment: 39,912
  • Example job: Petroleum engineers
  • 2019 employment: 33,400
  • 2019-2020 projected growth (pre-COVID): 3%

Learn More: Enron and the 24 Other Most Epic Corporate Downfalls of All Time

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Hotels and Motels

  • 2019-2020 revenue decline: 45.2%
  • Average industry decline 2015-2020: 9.9%
  • Market size: $108 billion
  • Number of businesses: 87,260
  • Industry employment: 1,353,400
  • Example job: Janitors and building cleaners
  • 2019 employment: 2,374,200
  • 2019-2020 projected growth (pre-COVID): 4%

Read: Cash and 21 Other Everyday Things Wiped Out by COVID-19

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Airport Operations

  • 2019-2020 revenue decline: 45.4%
  • Average industry decline 2015-2020: 11.2%
  • Market size: $5 billion
  • Number of businesses: 2,058
  • Industry employment: 83,082
  • Example job: Airline and commercial pilots
  • 2019 employment: 127,100
  • 2019-2020 projected growth (pre-COVID): 5%

Related: The Effects of Coronavirus Panic-Buying

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Car Rentals

  • 2019-2020 revenue decline: 49.4%
  • Average industry decline 2015-2020: 11.4%
  • Market size: $23 billion
  • Number of businesses: 19,216
  • Industry employment: 99,967
  • Example job: Counter and rental clerks
  • 2019 employment: 420,400
  • 2019-2020 projected growth (pre-COVID): 1%

Read More: 25 Ways the Coronavirus Upended the Auto Industry Across the Globe

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Musical Groups and Artists

  • 2019-2020 revenue decline: 61.8%
  • Average industry decline 2015-2020: 16.5%
  • Market size: $3 billion
  • Number of businesses: 21,536
  • Industry employment: 47,061
  • Example job: Musicians and singers
  • 2019 employment: 175,600
  • 2019-2020 projected growth (pre-COVID): 1%

Related: Celebrities Who Have Lost Millions During COVID-19

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Movie Theaters

  • 2019-2020 revenue decline: 62.2%
  • Average industry decline 2015-2020: 16.6%
  • Market size: $7 billion
  • Number of businesses: 4,451
  • Industry employment: 92,722
  • Example job: Motion picture projectionists
  • 2019 employment: 4,700
  • 2019-2020 projected growth (pre-COVID): -11%

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Methodology: To identify 10 industries that disappeared during 2020, GOBankingRates referenced IBISWorld’s data on the fastest-declining industries of 2020 in the U.S. in terms of revenue growth. Most of these industries are likely to see a partial recovery, but every industry on this list experienced a near-total cessation of operations during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any revenue growth over the past five years has been overshadowed by the unprecedented loss in revenue in the period since the coronavirus pandemic began, and the future of demand for these industries remains uncertain as long as the pandemic endures. For each industry, GOBankingRates found the (1) 2019-2020 decline in revenue expressed as a percentage of 2019 revenue, (2) 2015-2020 average decline in revenue, (3) market size, (4) number of businesses and (5) industry employment according to IBISWorld. Then, GOBankingRates used the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook to identify one example of a job key to each industry, along with its (5) 2019 employment and (6) projected growth between 2019 and 2029. All data was collected on and up to date as of Dec. 14, 2020.