Spending and employment related to books and other reading materials

September 26, 2014

The last full week in September is Banned Books Week, an annual occurrence when booksellers, libraries, and educators celebrate the freedom to read. This event draws attention to book censorship and numerous media outlets reveal the most-banned book titles of the year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has data available that show how much consumers spend on books and other published material, as well as employment in book and publishing-related industries.

In 2013, consumers spent an average of $29.20 on books not purchased through book clubs. Among different age groups, consumers age 55 to 64 years spent the most ($40.28) on books (not through book clubs) and those under 25 years spent the least ($12.56). In recent years, digital book readers have become more popular and consumers spent an average of $30.18 on digital book readers in 2013. Those ages 35 to 44 years spent $51.73 on digital book readers in 2013, the most of any age group. Newspaper and magazine-subscription spending was highest among consumers age 55 and above.

Consumer expenditures on books and other reading materials, by age of reference person, 2013 annual averages
Item All consumer units Under 25 years 25-34 years 35-44 years 45-54 years 55-64 years 65-74 years 75 years and older

Newspaper, magazine by subscription

$31.64 $2.79 $7.13 $12.38 $21.81 $46.89 $63.47 $76.38

Newspaper, magazine non-subscription

7.98 1.09 3.57 6.35 6.90 10.42 14.71 11.84

Books through book clubs

3.03 1.59 1.92 2.32 2.31 3.86 6.53 2.47

Books not through book clubs

29.20 12.56 22.45 31.28 24.45 40.28 35.98 28.11

Digital book readers

30.18 27.73 24.68 51.73 32.01 29.48 25.29 7.31

Employment in book-related industries has decreased dramatically over the last ten years as consumers continue to turn to online news and e-book sites for information. Employment in book stores and news dealers (part of the retail industry) has declined 30 percent since June 2009, the end of the most recent recession. In May 2011, employment in internet publishing and web search portals (part of the information industry) surpassed that of book stores and news dealers, and has increased 47 percent since then. From July 2004 to July 2014, employment among book publishers (also part of the information industry) declined 18 percent.

Employment in book and publishing-related industries, seasonally adjusted, January 2004–July 2014
Month Book publishers Internet publishing and broadcasting and web search portals Book stores and news dealers

Jan 2004

80,500 65,500 151,100

Feb 2004

79,600 66,300 152,500

Mar 2004

80,700 65,800 153,100

Apr 2004

81,400 65,800 152,600

May 2004

82,000 66,000 153,100

Jun 2004

82,300 66,900 153,100

Jul 2004

82,300 66,200 153,800

Aug 2004

82,400 65,800 153,700

Sep 2004

82,400 65,400 159,900

Oct 2004

83,700 66,200 153,700

Nov 2004

83,000 66,200 153,000

Dec 2004

82,500 66,200 153,300

Jan 2005

82,400 66,600 152,700

Feb 2005

82,300 65,800 149,900

Mar 2005

82,400 65,900 151,500

Apr 2005

81,900 66,200 150,700

May 2005

81,800 66,400 149,200

Jun 2005

82,400 66,600 153,000

Jul 2005

83,800 66,700 150,000

Aug 2005

82,500 67,200 150,300

Sep 2005

82,200 68,100 150,100

Oct 2005

81,900 68,200 149,600

Nov 2005

81,900 68,800 149,700

Dec 2005

82,500 69,400 150,000

Jan 2006

82,200 69,300 151,200

Feb 2006

82,200 70,500 150,600

Mar 2006

82,800 70,600 149,500

Apr 2006

83,000 70,500 149,200

May 2006

82,400 70,100 149,000

Jun 2006

82,100 69,100 147,000

Jul 2006

82,100 67,600 141,400

Aug 2006

82,200 68,500 148,800

Sep 2006

82,500 68,200 146,200

Oct 2006

82,700 68,100 146,500

Nov 2006

82,400 68,200 146,300

Dec 2006

82,600 68,500 145,900

Jan 2007

82,800 68,200 145,600

Feb 2007

82,900 68,100 147,200

Mar 2007

82,000 68,800 149,500

Apr 2007

81,700 70,500 149,400

May 2007

82,100 72,100 150,600

Jun 2007

81,600 73,000 148,900

Jul 2007

81,600 73,800 148,500

Aug 2007

81,200 74,600 146,900

Sep 2007

80,600 75,900 146,900

Oct 2007

80,400 76,400 147,800

Nov 2007

80,400 76,600 146,900

Dec 2007

79,300 76,700 147,100

Jan 2008

80,400 77,900 152,300

Feb 2008

80,700 79,500 148,700

Mar 2008

81,100 80,500 145,900

Apr 2008

81,000 79,900 145,400

May 2008

80,800 79,600 145,700

Jun 2008

81,000 79,800 143,500

Jul 2008

80,700 80,600 140,500

Aug 2008

80,800 80,900 143,200

Sep 2008

81,200 80,900 142,700

Oct 2008

82,100 81,400 140,500

Nov 2008

80,800 81,900 139,100

Dec 2008

80,200 83,200 138,100

Jan 2009

79,900 82,800 136,600

Feb 2009

79,100 82,500 132,400

Mar 2009

78,500 83,000 130,700

Apr 2009

77,900 82,100 130,000

May 2009

77,300 82,800 127,900

Jun 2009

76,000 82,900 127,300

Jul 2009

76,600 82,100 125,800

Aug 2009

75,900 81,600 125,400

Sep 2009

75,100 83,300 132,100

Oct 2009

74,300 84,700 127,800

Nov 2009

74,800 85,600 126,200

Dec 2009

75,400 85,800 125,600

Jan 2010

73,900 87,000 126,100

Feb 2010

73,700 87,700 126,900

Mar 2010

73,700 88,000 121,900

Apr 2010

73,600 89,100 122,400

May 2010

73,300 89,800 121,200

Jun 2010

73,000 91,200 121,400

Jul 2010

72,600 92,600 118,700

Aug 2010

72,800 94,400 118,900

Sep 2010

72,500 94,800 118,000

Oct 2010

72,300 95,000 115,600

Nov 2010

72,500 96,700 116,500

Dec 2010

72,300 97,600 116,000

Jan 2011

72,400 99,400 113,000

Feb 2011

72,700 100,700 111,500

Mar 2011

72,200 100,800 111,900

Apr 2011

72,800 105,300 108,100

May 2011

73,000 107,000 105,200

Jun 2011

73,300 110,700 104,200

Jul 2011

73,600 112,700 104,700

Aug 2011

73,300 113,700 103,600

Sep 2011

72,700 114,600 102,900

Oct 2011

72,500 115,900 95,600

Nov 2011

72,000 116,100 93,400

Dec 2011

72,100 117,900 92,000

Jan 2012

71,700 118,700 90,400

Feb 2012

71,100 119,700 93,300

Mar 2012

70,800 121,100 93,800

Apr 2012

70,600 121,700 94,000

May 2012

70,400 123,000 94,400

Jun 2012

71,100 123,400 92,200

Jul 2012

71,000 125,100 89,900

Aug 2012

70,700 126,300 94,100

Sep 2012

71,300 128,200 94,400

Oct 2012

70,800 129,800 93,000

Nov 2012

69,900 131,800 94,600

Dec 2012

70,300 133,500 93,800

Jan 2013

69,700 134,400 95,700

Feb 2013

69,600 135,500 93,400

Mar 2013

68,600 136,700 90,300

Apr 2013

70,800 137,700 92,100

May 2013

70,500 139,500 92,600

Jun 2013

68,500 139,400 94,600

Jul 2013

67,800 141,900 93,800

Aug 2013

68,100 144,100 89,700

Sep 2013

67,900 143,400 86,900

Oct 2013

67,800 146,500 91,800

Nov 2013

67,800 146,100 89,700

Dec 2013

67,900 145,900 89,400

Jan 2014

68,300 149,600 88,400

Feb 2014

67,600 150,300 86,300

Mar 2014

67,600 151,000 88,900

Apr 2014

67,300 152,300 91,000

May 2014

67,300 153,500 91,100

Jun 2014

67,700 155,500 91,500

Jul 2014(p)

67,200 157,400 89,600
Footnotes:

(p) preliminary.

These data are from the Consumer Expenditure Survey and Current Employment Statistics (National) program. Average annual expenditures are based on all households including those not reporting any expenditures for those items. Employment data are seasonally adjusted. For more information on Banned Books Week, visit the American Library Association website.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Spending and employment related to books and other reading materials on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140926.htm (visited December 03, 2016).

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