In our ongoing, semi-weekly look at establishment and employee counts of graphic arts businesses, we have been focusing on print-/media-buying establishments. Back in March, we saw that, in 2016 (the most recent year for which we have data), there were 37,875 establishments in NAICS 5418 (Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services), and two weeks ago, we saw that 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.

This week, we look at the historical employee counts in NAICS 5418, and note that employment in the print-/media-buying establishments has increased +15% from 2010 to 2016. As we saw in the past few months with the various sub-NAICS categories in 5418, establishment growth patterns have varied by type of business (direct mail vs. outdoor advertising vs. PR, etc.). Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll see how the employment patterns have reflected—or differed from—the establishment growth patterns. We’ll be sure to keep an eye on PR agencies, which, as we have noted often in the past, is where a lot of the employment action is.

5418 establishments also comprise a not unsubstantial number of freelancers and independent contractors, who are not included in these figures—gleaned from County Business Patterns—but rather are tracked in Non-Employer Statistics, which we will look at in a later installment of this series.

NAICS 5418 is divided into the following sub-categories:

  • 54181 Advertising Agencies
  • 54182 Public Relations Agencies
  • 54183 Media Buying Agencies
  • 54184 Media Representatives
  • 54185 Outdoor Advertising
  • 54186 Direct Mail Advertising
  • 54187 Advertising Material Distribution Services
  • 54189 Other Services Related to Advertising

These establishment counts are based on data from the Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns. These data, like other demographic data, can be used not only for business planning and forecasting, but also sales and marketing resource allocation.