Pawn shops have always been around....it's their poliferation that has increased...and their protection as sellers of stolen goods. (They didn't know that particular necklace was stolen.....honest)
As for the check cashing, it's growing from a change in the usury laws. (1000% interest is enough to get any businessman's attention)
It's these laxing of rules that indicates the decline...the pawn shops and check cashing stores are indicators of the laxing of rules.