WhatTheyThink

Data Analysis

Newspaper Publishing Establishments—2010–2017
Newspaper Publishing Establishments—2010–2017

Published: May 29, 2020

In 2010, there were 7,794 US newspaper publishing establishments; by 2017, that number had dropped to 7,222. The newspaper industry’s woes have been well-documented, but the trouble started well before the Internet era. Also: Q1 GDP revised down. Full Analysis

March Shipments—Crest of a Wave
March Shipments—Crest of a Wave

Published: May 22, 2020

As we kind of expected, at $6.96 billion, March shipments were up from February’s $6.48 billion, and well enough above March 2019’s $6.75 billion. Full Analysis

Prepress and Postpress Services Establishments—2010–2017
Prepress and Postpress Services Establishments—2010–2017

Published: May 15, 2020

In 2010, there were 2,080 establishments offering prepress and/or postpress services; by 2017, that number had dropped to 1,375. It’s not difficult to understand why the number of these establishments has been dropping: prepress is being absorbed into the printing process itself (especially in digital printing), and more print businesses are acquiring their own finishing capabilities. Full Analysis

Graphic Arts Employment—March 2020
Graphic Arts Employment—March 2020

Published: May 8, 2020

Another of the Scenes from the Before Times: in March 2020, the overall printing employment was virtually unchanged from February (-0.7%) and on a year-over-year basis is down -3.1%. Obviously, this is the calm before the storm. Full Analysis

Book Printing Establishments—2010–2017
Book Printing Establishments—2010–2017

Published: May 1, 2020

According to the latest edition of County Business Patterns, in 2017 there were 500 establishments in NAICS 323117 (Book Printing Establishments). This represents an decline of -6.7% since the decade began. In other data news, the BEA released Q1 2020 GDP growth. Click on through, if you dare. Full Analysis

February Shipments: Tales from The Before Times
February Shipments: Tales from The Before Times

Published: April 24, 2020

At $6.48 billion, February shipments were down from January’s $6.94 billion, but well above February 2019’s $6.22 billion—and indeed was the best February we’ve had since 2016. Ah, well... Full Analysis

Printing Profits Plunged—Even Before the Crisis
Printing Profits Plunged—Even Before the Crisis

Published: April 10, 2020

Annualized profits for Q4 2019 took a nosedive from $720 million to -$170 million in the latest chapter in our “tale of two cities” narrative, this time with the profitability gap between large and small printers narrowing. Full Analysis

Screen Printing Establishments—2010–2017
Screen Printing Establishments—2010–2017

Published: April 3, 2020

According to the latest edition of County Business Patterns, in 2017 there were 5,187 establishments in NAICS 323113 (Commercial Screen Printing). This represents an increase of +16% since the decade began. Full Analysis

January Shipments: Well, We Started Great
January Shipments: Well, We Started Great

Published: March 27, 2020

At $6.94 billion, January shipments were down a little from December’s $6.98 billion, but that was just slightly lower than January 2016’s $6.95 billion—the best January we have had since then. But, elephant in the room... Full Analysis

Printing Establishments—2010–2017
Printing Establishments—2010–2017

Published: March 20, 2020

According to the latest edition of County Business Patterns, in 2017 there were 25,256 establishments in NAICS 323 (Printing and Related Support Activities). This represents a decline of 13% since the decade began. Full Analysis

Graphic Arts Employment—February 2020
Graphic Arts Employment—February 2020

Published: March 13, 2020

In February 2020, overall printing employment was virtually unchanged from January (-0.1%) and on a year-over-year basis was down -2.0%. Interestingly, production employment was up, albeit infinitesimally. Full Analysis

Prepress and Postpress Establishments—2017
Prepress and Postpress Establishments—2017

Published: March 6, 2020

According to the latest edition of County Business Patterns, in 2017 there were 1,373 establishments in NAICS 32312 (Support Activities for Printing). The majority of these establishments (66%) had fewer than 10 employees. Full Analysis

Retail Sales—January 2020
Retail Sales—January 2020

Published: February 28, 2020

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for January 2020, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $529.8 billion, an increase of +0.3% (±0.4%) from the previous month, and +4.4% (±0.7%) above January 2019. Retail drives a lot of printing and packaging volume, so it’s important to keep an eye on that sector. Full Analysis

Book Printers—2017
Book Printers—2017

Published: February 21, 2020

The latest edition of County Business Patterns is out, which updates number of establishments and other data to 2017. In that year, there were 500 establishments in NAICS 323117 (Book Printing). The majority of these establishments (63%) had fewer than 10 employees. Full Analysis

December Shipments: Ending 2019 on a High Note
December Shipments: Ending 2019 on a High Note

Published: February 14, 2020

The value of printing shipments for December 2019 was down from November—as we expected it would be—but not down as much as been the case in recent years. At $6.95 billion, December shipments were down from November’s $7.03 billion, but far above the depths of 2017 and 2018. Full Analysis

Screen Printing Establishments—2017
Screen Printing Establishments—2017

Published: February 7, 2020

The latest edition of County Business Patterns is out, which updates number of establishments and other data to 2017. In that year, there were 5,186 establishments in NAICS 323113 (Commercial Screen Printing). The majority of these establishments (74%) had fewer than 10 employees. Full Analysis

Graphic Arts Employment—December 2019
Graphic Arts Employment—December 2019

Published: January 31, 2020

In December 2019, overall printing employment dropped -0.2% from November, and on a year-over-year basis, it is down -2.4%. Production employment was down -0.5% from November to December (and -4.4% Y/Y) while non-production employment was down -0.1% from November to December—but actually up +1.7% Y/Y. Full Analysis

Commercial Printing Establishments—2017
Commercial Printing Establishments—2017

Published: January 24, 2020

The latest edition of County Business Patterns is out, which updates the number of establishments and other data. In 2017, there were 25,256 establishments in NAICS 323 (Printing and Related Support Activities). The majority of these establishments (71%) have fewer than 10 employees. Full Analysis

November Printing Shipments: Off for the Holidays
November Printing Shipments: Off for the Holidays

Published: January 17, 2020

The value of printing shipments for November 2019 was $7.03 billion—a pretty big drop from October’s $7.65 billion, but we kind of expected it, as November and December see business slow down for the holidays. Full Analysis

Establishment Births/Deaths: Industry Attrition Continues to Slow
Establishment Births/Deaths: Industry Attrition Continues to Slow

Published: January 10, 2020

From 2015 to 2016, there had been an increase of 1,586 establishments, but a decrease of -1,881 establishments, for a net loss of -295 establishments. That’s a smaller percentage change than previous years, which reflects somewhat of a deceleration in industry consolidation. Full Analysis

The Next Chapter in the Printing Profits “Tale of Two Cities”
The Next Chapter in the Printing Profits “Tale of Two Cities”

Published: December 20, 2019

Industry profits data for the third quarter of 2019 were down from $3.05 billion in Q2 to $2.65 billion. Large printers continue to be the trouble spot. Full Analysis

October Printing Shipments: Raise a Glass of Holiday Cheer
October Printing Shipments: Raise a Glass of Holiday Cheer

Published: December 13, 2019

The value of printing shipments for October 2019 was $7.65 billion—a pretty big jump from September’s $7.14 billion. October has become the biggest month of the year, and this is the best October the industry has had since 2016. Full Analysis

First Look: Industry Business Conditions 2019
First Look: Industry Business Conditions 2019

Published: December 6, 2019

Preliminary results from our 2019 Business Outlook Survey show that one-fourth (24%) of survey respondents reported that, compared to 2018, revenues for 2019 were up more than 10%. That’s the highest this has been since we started our annual survey in 2015. Elsewhere, though, things are a bit more muted. Full Analysis

October Jobs: Production Down, Managerial Up
October Jobs: Production Down, Managerial Up

Published: November 22, 2019

In October, overall printing employment dropped -0.3% from September. On a year-over-year basis, though, it was down -2.4%. Production employment was down -0.7% from September to October, but year-over-year was down -4.8%. On the other hand, non-production employment was up +0.7% from September to October, and year-over-year was up +2.9%. Full Analysis

Paperboard Container Manufacturing Establishments—2016
Paperboard Container Manufacturing Establishments—2016

Published: November 15, 2019

In 2016, there were 1,971 establishments in NAICS 32221 (Paperboard Container Manufacturing). One-half of these establishments have 50 or more employees, and three-fourths have 20 or more employees. Full Analysis

No Fall for Printing Shipments
No Fall for Printing Shipments

Published: November 8, 2019

Heading into Fall 2019, the value of printing shipments for September 2019 was $7.14 billion—up from August’s $7.10 billion. It’s not a huge rise, but given that for the last few years September shipments declined from August’s, we’ll take it. Full Analysis

Paper Bag and Coated and Treated Paper Manufacturing—2010–2016
Paper Bag and Coated and Treated Paper Manufacturing—2010–2016

Published: November 1, 2019

In 2010, there were 825 establishments in NAICS 32222 (Paper Bag and Coated and Treated Paper Manufacturing). By 2016, that number had declined for a net loss of -12% to 730. Full Analysis

The View from the Other Side: Print Buyers’ Revenues
The View from the Other Side: Print Buyers’ Revenues

Published: October 25, 2019

Publishing and advertising are among the biggest print-buying markets. Last month, the Census Bureau released its Quarterly Services Survey, which reported revenues for these markets. Publishers’ revenues continue their long decline, while the up-and-down of advertising revenues indicate the extent to which the nature of advertising is changing. Full Analysis

Paper Bag and Coated and Treated Paper Manufacturing Establishments—2016
Paper Bag and Coated and Treated Paper Manufacturing Establishments—2016

Published: October 18, 2019

In 2016, there were 730 establishments in NAICS 32222 (Paper Bag and Coated and Treated Paper Manufacturing). Nearly four out of 10 (39%) have 50 or more employees, and 59% have 20 or more employees. Full Analysis

Printing Shipments: The Dog Days of Summer Didn’t Bite
Printing Shipments: The Dog Days of Summer Didn’t Bite

Published: October 11, 2019

The value of printing shipments for August 2019 was $7.1 billion—up from July’s $6.8 billion. As we head into the autumn, 2019 is shaping up to be the best year for the industry in three years. Full Analysis

Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing Establishments—2010–2016
Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing Establishments—2010–2016

Published: October 4, 2019

In 2010, there were 491 establishments in NAICS 322212 (Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing). By 2016, that number had declined for a net loss of -8% to 451. Full Analysis

Printing Shipments: Summer Surprise
Printing Shipments: Summer Surprise

Published: September 27, 2019

The value of printing shipments for July 2019 was $6.8 billion—up from June’s $6.6 billion. Breaking with seasonality, what has typically been one of the lowest months of the year for printing shipments actually came in pretty good. Full Analysis

Corrugated and Solid Fiber Box Manufacturing Establishments—2010–2016
Corrugated and Solid Fiber Box Manufacturing Establishments—2010–2016

Published: September 20, 2019

In 2010, there were 1,356 establishments in NAICS 322211 (Corrugated and Solid Fiber Box Manufacturing). By 2016, that number had declined -12% to 1,200. Full Analysis

Industry Profits: Mind the Gap
Industry Profits: Mind the Gap

Published: September 13, 2019

Annualized profits for the second quarter of 2019 were down from $3.61 billion in Q1 to $3.05 billion. However, the gap between large and small printers has only narrowed very slightly. Full Analysis

Converted Paper Product Manufacturing Establishments—2010–2016
Converted Paper Product Manufacturing Establishments—2010–2016

Published: September 6, 2019

In 2010, there were 4,128 establishments in NAICS 3222 (Converted Paper Product Manufacturing). By 2016, that number had declined -12% to 3,638. Full Analysis

Printing Establishment Births and Deaths
Printing Establishment Births and Deaths

Published: August 30, 2019

From 2015 to 2016, there was an increase of +1,586 printing establishments and a decrease of -1,881 establishments, for a net loss of -295 establishments. Full Analysis

Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing Establishments—2016
Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing Establishments—2016

Published: August 23, 2019

In 2016, there were 451 establishments in NAICS 322212 (Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing). More than half of these establishments (57%) have 50 or more employees and more than three-fourths (79%) have 20 or more employees. Full Analysis

June Printing Shipments: The Dog Days of Summer Begin
June Printing Shipments: The Dog Days of Summer Begin

Published: August 16, 2019

Printing shipments for June 2019 were—as expected—down from May, and came in slightly below June 2018. Full Analysis

Corrugated and Solid Fiber Box Manufacturing Establishments—2016
Corrugated and Solid Fiber Box Manufacturing Establishments—2016

Published: August 9, 2019

in 2016, there were 1,200 establishments in NAICS 322211 (Corrugated and Solid Fiber Box Manufacturing). About half of these establishments (49%) have 50 or more employees and more than two-thirds (71%) have 20 or more employees. Full Analysis

June Jobs: Up in the Short Term, Down in the Long Term
June Jobs: Up in the Short Term, Down in the Long Term

Published: August 2, 2019

In June, overall printing employment grew +0.5% from May to June 2019. On a year-over-year basis, it is down -2.5%. Production employment was up +0.4% from May to June, but year-over-year was down -4.9%. Non-production employment was up +0.7% from May to June, and year-over-year was up +2.6%. Full Analysis

Converted Paper Product Manufacturing Establishments—2016
Converted Paper Product Manufacturing Establishments—2016

Published: July 26, 2019

in 2016, there were 3,638 establishments in NAICS 3222 (Converted Paper Product Manufacturing). More than four out of 10 of these establishments (42%) have 50 or more employees and two-thirds (65%) have 20 or more employees. Full Analysis

May Printing Shipments Up from April
May Printing Shipments Up from April

Published: July 19, 2019

Printing shipments for May 2019 were up from April—and even came in above May 2018 shipments, albeit only very slightly. Full Analysis

PR Agency Employees—2010–2016
PR Agency Employees—2010–2016

Published: July 12, 2019

In 2016, there were 58,489 employees in establishments in NAICS 54182 (Public Relations Agencies). Employment in this category has grown +17% from 2010 to 2016. Full Analysis

Printing Industry Profits: What Goes Up...
Printing Industry Profits: What Goes Up...

Published: June 28, 2019

Industry profits data came out earlier this month, and overall profits slipped a little. Annualized profits for Q1 2019 were $3.58 billion, down slightly from $3.66 billion in Q4 of last year. Again, it’s the large printers that are dragging down overall industry profitability. Full Analysis

Advertising Agency Employees—2010–2016
Advertising Agency Employees—2010–2016

Published: June 21, 2019

In 2016, there were 194,792 employees in establishments in NAICS 54181 (Advertising Agencies). Employment in this category has grown +31% from 2010 to 2016. Full Analysis

April Printing Shipments—A New Season?
April Printing Shipments—A New Season?

Published: June 14, 2019

Printing shipments for April were up from March, happily disrupting what has become the usual seasonal pattern. Even better, April 2019 shipments came in above April 2018 shipments. Full Analysis

Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services Employees—2010–2016
Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services Employees—2010–2016

Published: June 7, 2019

In 2016, there were 472,163 employees in establishments in NAICS 5418 (Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services). Employment in this category has grown +15% from 2010 to 2016. Full Analysis

The Changing Face of Print Business Opportunities
The Changing Face of Print Business Opportunities

Published: May 31, 2019

In our annual Print Business Outlook Survey, we found that the top opportunities for print businesses included some newer, proactive items, with some of the old chestnuts falling off the tree. As we saw with recent Business Challenges, could this reflect a “changing of the guard” of print business management? Full Analysis

Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services Establishments—2016
Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services Establishments—2016

Published: May 24, 2019

in 2016, there were 37,875 establishments in NAICS 5418 (Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services). Two-thirds of these establishments (65%) have under four employees, 79% have under 10 employees, and 88% have under 20 employees. The largest agencies (100 or more employees) only account for 2% of all establishments. Full Analysis

March Printing Shipments: A Day at the Races
March Printing Shipments: A Day at the Races

Published: May 17, 2019

The value of printing shipments for March were up from February. However, at $6.66 billion, March 2019 shipments came in below March 2018’s $6.74 billion. That’s not a huge disappointment, but we were hoping for a better month. Full Analysis