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Industry Data

This section focuses on analyzing the structural change of the industry. As a service to the printing and publishing industries, WhatTheyThink provides access to economic, industry trends and other data that is valuable to industry executives for strategic planning and research purposes.

 

Industry Snapshot

A collection of regularly updated industry data about various measures of business activity. Continuously updated.

 

Monthly Commercial Printing Shipments

US commercial printing shipments is based on the US Department of Commerce manufacturing shipments data for NAICS 323. Updated monthly

Data Analysis

 

Graphic Arts Employment Held Steady in December

Graphic Arts Employment Held Steady in December

Published: January 11, 2019

Overall printing employment stayed roughly the same from November to December 2018, and, compared to December 2017, declined -1.6%. Non-production printing employment was up a bit in December, production employment down by about the same bit. PR employment continues to be the industry growth spot.

 

Commercial Printing Employees—2010–2016

Commercial Printing Employees—2010–2016

Published: December 21, 2018

In 2010, there were a total of 499,622 employees in all commercial printing and related support businesses (NAICS 323). By 2016, overall industry employment had dropped to 445,992.

 

October 2018 Printing Shipments: Suitable for Framing

October 2018 Printing Shipments: Suitable for Framing

Published: December 14, 2018

Printing shipments for October 2018 came in at $7.27 billion. That’s up from September—and it’s well above October 2018’s $7.08 billion. Welcome to the new seasonality.

 

Printing Industry Profits: The Tale of Two Cities Continues

Printing Industry Profits: The Tale of Two Cities Continues

Published: December 7, 2018

Industry profits data came out earlier this week, and it was good and bad news. Overall, annualized profits for Q3 2018 were $3.07 billion—not a huge gain from Q2, but a gain nonetheless. But it’s the ongoing saga of the low profitability of large printers dragging down average industry profitability.

 

Prepress and Postpress Services Establishments—2016

Prepress and Postpress Services Establishments—2016

Published: November 30, 2018

In 2016, there were 1,545 total U.S. establishments offering prepress and/or postpress services (NAICS 32312); 51% of these establishments had fewer than 10 employees.

 

Prepress and Postpress Services Establishments

Prepress and Postpress Services Establishments

Published: November 16, 2018

In 2010, there were 2,080 establishments offering prepress and/or postpress services; by 2016, that number had dropped to 1,545. (The Census Bureau stopped breaking out prepress and postpress establishments separately in 2012.) 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.

 

End of the Season? September 2018 Printing Shipments

End of the Season? September 2018 Printing Shipments

Published: November 9, 2018

Printing shipments for September 2018 came in at $6.52 billion. That’s down from August—and it’s well below August 2017’s $6.76 billion. Are we seeing a new seasonality in the printing industry—or the end of any seasonality?

 

Screen Printers—2016

Screen Printers—2016

Published: November 2, 2018

In 2016, there were 5,150 total U.S. commercial screen printing establishments. As with most printing categories, the majority have under 10 employees, but screen shops tend to be smaller than other kinds of printing establishments.

 

Graphic Arts Employment Continues to Decline; PR Employment Continues to Grow

Graphic Arts Employment Continues to Decline; PR Employment Continues to Grow

Published: October 26, 2018

Overall printing employment dropped from August to September 2018, and on a year-over-year basis is down -1.5%. Non-production printing employment was up slightly, indicating that production staff are the hardest employees to find. PR employment is again the industry bright spot, employment-wise.

 

Screen Printers 2010–2016

Screen Printers 2010–2016

Published: October 19, 2018

From 2010 to 2016, the number of U.S. commercial screen printing establishments increased from 4,454 to 5,150. Growth in screen printing establishments has been consistent from year to year. Chalk this up to the rise of specialty printing.

 

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