US commercial printers added employees in March, with an increase of +1,300 workers. This is less than in recent years: in 2012, for example, employment increased +1,500 workers. March is a strong month for the industry in recent years, and this rise is seasonal. What likely occurs is retail promotions for Easter and Spring increase volumes, and projects started in the new budget year were finally ready for production. (click chart to enlarge)
The overall trend of a decrease in workers on a year-to-year basis is still intact, with -5,700 fewer workers than last year. This means that the long-term trend is in place, but seasonal changes in employment patterns remain on a month-to-month basis. Because the Commerce Department uses employment as part of their models to estimate printing shipments, this implies that overall shipments are likely to be reported as in-line with last year.
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