Graphic arts employment in March – Printing production falls from February, non-production increases a little


In March 2022, overall employment in the printing industry increased by +0.2% compared to February. Non-production printing employment increased by +2.7%, but production employment fell by -0.9%.

As we mentioned earlier, when we’ve reported low employment numbers for the industry in the past, we’ve usually interpreted it as the industry simply not hiring. Since 2020, however, it is clear that the low rates we have seen throughout 2021 and now 2022 are simply due to print companies not being able to find employees. Although we have seen historically low unemployment rates in the economy as a whole, not all industries are recovering from the pandemic at the same rate.

In March 2022, all employment in the printing industry increased by one notch (+0.2%) compared to February, with employment in production falling by -0.9%. The problem is mainly in production, as non-production printing employment increased by +2.7%.

Publishing employment had improved slightly over the past summer, deteriorated in the fall and began to level off at the end of the year. It rose a modest +0.6% in March, but up +3.3% from March 2021.

Digging into the specific segments of publishing (whose publication is a month behind schedule), things were also a little on hold: from January to February, employment in periodical publishing fell by -0.7%, while employment in newspaper publishing increased by +0.1%. %.

Creative markets were doing much the same thing. Employment in graphic design fell -0.2% from January to February, but advertising agencies increased by +2.8% and public relations – generally a remarkable segment – only increased by + 0.9%. Direct mail employment has been up and down all last year, but in February 2022 it was up +0.8%.

In the January General Employment Report, the BLS said in its April 1 report (not fooled):

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 431,000 in March and the unemployment rate fell to 3.6%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable employment gains continued in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail and manufacturing.

The participation rate fell from 62.3% in February to 62.4% in March, and the employment-to-population ratio fell from 59.9% to 60.1%. The activity rate of 24-54 year olds fell from 82.2% to 82.5%, the highest since January 2020, when it was 83.1%, which was in turn the highest since January 2007 (83.4%). therefore, prime-age workers appear to be back to pre-pandemic levels.

At the same time, payrolls for January and February were revised upwards by a combined 95,000.

Overall, the employment situation in general continues to be exceptional, but, as we said earlier, not all industries and all segments are doing as well.


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