Job losses still continue to weigh heavy on the printing industry

Posted By on July 12, 2011

A recent article in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal highlighted what I already know about my line of work – the printing industry is losing jobs. Most of us working in printing and publishing business continue to struggle to stay a float and are wondering if business will ever come back. Thankfully I’m no longer a principle charged with cutting business overhead and having to eliminate employees – because it would not be a pleasant task.


Printing jobs have continued to dwindle, off 4.5% from a year ago, in part because digital competition has reduced demand for newspapers, magazines and books, said Ron Davis, chief economist for Printing Industries of America, a trade group based in Pittsburgh. The business of printing labels, wrappers and packaging remains strong, he said, and direct-marketing, catalog and brochure work has been resilient.

But the printing companies that have survived tend to be very efficient and need fewer workers

"Business is better but it’s not back where it was," said Ralph Moore, owner of Commercial Printing Co. in Raleigh, N.C., which prints office stationery, newsletters, booklets and other items. He has kept his staff level at 22 and figures he could expand his output as much as about 25% without new workers. Using digital printers, the company now can do some jobs with one person that used to require two or three. Mr. Moore invested about $150,000 earlier this year to install a faster digital printer.

—James R. Hagerty


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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