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 8,484 establishments in NAICS 54182 (Public Relations Agencies).

This week, we look at the historical employee counts in NAICS 54182, and two weeks ago, we had noted that in advertising agencies (54181) employment grew +24%, while from 2013 to 2016 it only grew +5%. Now, with PR, we see kind of the reverse trend; from 2010 to 2013, PR employment grew +4% but from 2013 to 2016 grew +13%. It’s not a 1:1 correspondence, but is reflective of the fact that in the past decade, the PR agency has taken on a much more important role in advertising and marketing, especially as social media became a dominant marketing channel. As we have noted often in the past, PR continues to be where a lot of the more recent employment action has been.

54182 establishments also comprise a substantial 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.

Print-/media-buying businesses, NAICS 5418, are 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.