PIA Releases Print Industry Special Report

Addresses changing industry structure.

Printing Industries of America’s Center for Print Economics and Management has released the “Special Report on the Changing Structure of the Printing Industry.” The report examines changes in technologies, products and services, and the economic and competitive structure of the print industry.

The report contains outlooks for future industry structure shifts, a competitive scan for each state, and an analysis of the changes in industry economic structure between 2004 and 2015, specifically narrowing in on trends in employment and number of printing establishments.

Key takeaways include:

• The number of printing plants in the US peaked at almost 54,500 in 1994. The number has since declined each year with a total decline of approximately 28,000 plants (over 50 percent) in the past 20 years.
• On average, a gross decline of two percent in printing plants is caused by mergers, acquisitions, retirement, liquidations, bankruptcies, and other reasons.
• Over a typical year, less than one percent of the total population of printing plants is represented by new printers opening plants.
• In 2015, 12,813 printing establishments had employment numbers between one and four while five print companies had workforces of over 1000 employees.
• Unemployment and establishment numbers in the industry hit a downward spiral during the Great Recession from 2008 to 2009, but the rate of decline has leveled out to pre-recession levels over the past four years.
• Firms that continue business despite industry downsizing can experience increased sales, even as industry sales decline.
• Today’s print companies have expanded their services beyond printing, providing creative design, retail display design, e-commerce, webpage design and hosting, mailing, fulfillment, and services that provide horizontal marketing.

The full report can be purchased at printing.org.

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