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WhatTheyThink

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.

Printing Outlook 2021
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Printing Outlook 2022 - The WhatTheyThink Overview of the Current State of the Printing Industry

The new Printing Outlook 2022 report provides detailed analysis of the latest WhatTheyThink Business Outlook Survey, the latest industry economic data and macroeconomic trends, as well as industry and cultural technological trends to look out for in 2022.

Purchase Report

Industry Snapshot Table Image
Printing Industry Snapshot

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

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Monthly Commercial Printing Shipments Table Image
US Commercial Printing Shipments

US commercial printing shipments. Updated monthly.

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Monthly Commercial Printing Shipments Table Image
US Commercial Printing Establishments

The number of establishments in the US organized by NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System). Updated annually.

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Data Analysis
Commercial Printing Annual Payroll—2010–2019
Commercial Printing Annual Payroll—2010–2019

According to County Business Patterns, in 2010, US establishments in NAICS 323111 had an annual payroll of $15.9 billion. Payrolls dipped during and in the aftermath of the Great Recession and then rose, at least on a current dollar basis, over the latter half of the decade before dropping in 2019, finishing out the decade at $16.3 billion in 2019. However adjusting for inflation, payrolls declined by -12% over the course of the decade. In macro news: inflation is starting to slow ever so slightly. Full Analysis

March Graphic Arts Employment—Print Production Drops from February, Non-Production Up a Bit
March Graphic Arts Employment—Print Production Drops from February, Non-Production Up a Bit

In March 2022, all printing employment was up +0.2% from February. Non-production printing employment was up +2.7%, but production employment was down -0.9%. Full Analysis

Printing Annual Payroll—2010–2019
Printing Annual Payroll—2010–2019

According to County Business Patterns, in 2010, US establishments in NAICS 32311 had an annual payroll of $18.8 billion. Payrolls dipped during and in the aftermath of the Great Recession and then rose, at least on a current dollar basis, over the latter half of the decade, coming in at $19.6 billion in 2019. However adjusting for inflation, payrolls declined by -11% over the course of the decade. In macro news: GDP decreased by 1.4% in Q1 2022. Full Analysis

February Shipments: OK, About What We Expected
February Shipments: OK, About What We Expected

February 2022 shipments came in at $6.53 billion, down from January’s $6.67 billion. As we remarked last month we’re starting the year better than we did 2021 and reverting back to our normal seasonality trends. Full Analysis

Printing Industry Annual Payroll—2010–2019
Printing Industry Annual Payroll—2010–2019

According to County Business Patterns, in 2010, US establishments in NAICS 323 had an annual payroll of $20.2 billion. Payrolls dipped during and in the aftermath of the Great Recession. They rose, at least on a current dollar basis, over the latter half of the decade, coming in at $20.7 billion in 2019. However adjusting for inflation, payrolls declined by -13% over the course of the decade. In macro news: forecasters are not expecting a happy Q1 GDP report. Full Analysis

Now it Can be Told: Why Printing Shipments Declined! (April Fools 2022 Edition)
Now it Can be Told: Why Printing Shipments Declined! (April Fools 2022 Edition)

In this exclusive report, we found a modest positive relationship between the decline in average consumption of margarine and the value of printing shipments. Full Analysis

Outdoor Advertising Employees—2010–2019
Outdoor Advertising Employees—2010–2019

According to County Business Patterns, in 2010, there were 24,534 employees in NAICS 541850 (Outdoor Advertising). This NAICS actually grew post-Great Recession, with a slight decline mid-decade before climbing back up to 27,620 establishments in 2017. 2018 and 2019 saw a drop in employees. In macro news: AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) indicates that demand for design services continues to grow, boding well for commercial real estate construction and thus signage projects. Full Analysis

January Shipments: Let’s Get This Year Right
January Shipments: Let’s Get This Year Right

January 2022 shipments came in at $6.64 billion, down from December’s $7.09 billion. We’re starting the year better than we did 2021 and reverting back to our normal seasonality trends. Full Analysis

Sign Manufacturing Employees—2010–2019
Sign Manufacturing Employees—2010–2019

According to County Business Patterns, in 2010, there were 70,507 employees in NAICS 33995 (Sign Manufacturing). This NAICS category tumbled in the wake of the Great Recession, ultimately climbing to 76,944 employees in 2019. In macro news: Inflation continues to continue to climb. Full Analysis

January Graphic Arts Employment—Print Production Drops from December, Non-Production Up Slightly
January Graphic Arts Employment—Print Production Drops from December, Non-Production Up Slightly

In January 2022, all printing employment was down -2.6% from December, with production employment down -4.1%. Non-production printing employment offset that a bit by being up a modest +0.9%. Full Analysis