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Data Analysis

US Commercial Printing Shipments in Mild Downturn; Employment Consolidation Continues

By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: November 7, 2016


US commercial printing shipments for September 2016 were down -$8 million compared to the prior year (-0.1%). On an inflation-adjusted basis, shipments were down by -$118 million. Interestingly, inflation-adjusted August shipments were up by +$118 million, making the net change for the two months zero. For the first three quarters of the year, shipments were down -$488 million (-0.75%) on an inflation-adjusted basis.

For most of the months since March, monthly shipments have been between 2014 and 2015 levels.

Printing Employment

Printing employment in October was down -9,000 workers compared to 2015, a -2.0% decline. Production employees were down -1,800, (-0.6%). Non-production employment still shows the effects of consolidation and downsizing. Employment in those positions were down -7,200 (-5.1%).


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