The United Steelworkers union in Michigan, the biggest steel industry in the United States, expects that total production to fall nearly 40 percent by 2020 from its forecast of 1.2 million tons.
The steel industry has been plagued by a lack of new plants to meet demand for the steel used in vehicles, buildings and appliances.
In a preliminary estimate of the steel industry’s 2016 production, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that the United Steel and Tire Workers, the largest union in the industry, expected output to fall 23.1 percent from 2016.
That was down from the final forecast of 34.3 percent.
The total number of jobs in the U-T is forecast to fall 4.4 percent, from 2.9 million.
The union also noted that the steel production industry is now “on the verge of collapse.”
The U.K.-based company Steel Dynamics has also projected that output will fall by 20.4 to 1 million tons in 2020.
That forecast was up from the previous estimate of 19.4 million tons, and the union said the number of new jobs expected is also likely to fall.
Steel Association said in a statement that the union’s projections were “not surprising” because of the economic downturn.
“U-S Steel has forecast the industry will experience a significant decline in both output and employment in the coming years.
We expect the industry to contract as a result of a reduction in the price of steel, as well as the ongoing uncertainty in the steel supply chain,” the union stated.
The American Iron and Steel Institute, a trade group that represents more than 20 million steelworkers, has also forecast a decline in the number and types of jobs for the industry.
The trade group has forecast that total employment in steel will drop from about 8.2 to 6.8 million jobs by 2020.
The group has said that more than a quarter of the workforce in the Steel Dynamics facility in Michigan will be laid off, and about 3,500 workers will be lost over the course of the year.