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Semper International Survey Reveals Increase in Hiring, Major Purchases in Printing Industry

February 18, 2014

BOSTON—February 18, 2014—Semper International, the leading placement firm for skilled help in the graphic arts and printing industry, announces bright spots in hiring and major purchases, in spite of entering the seventh year of economic malaise.

Since February 2003, Semper International has provided a quarterly survey offering estimates of trends in the printing and graphics industries. To prevent bias, survey questions—both qualitative and quantitative—are designed by Semper corporate partner Cvent. Survey participants include more than 300 small, medium and large printing companies; both clients and prospects of Semper International. Participants provide data on revenue and hiring, as well as estimated outlooks on future trends. Data is requested from a random sample and is not screened. To preserve confidentiality, individual company information is not part of the tabulation.

"We were excited to find respondents making major purchases," noted Dave Regan, CEO Semper International. "We were also pleased to see a jump up in hiring levels. Both factors point to optimism in the marketplace. However, there is a darker side. A large number of companies have closed their doors. The remaining businesses have the advantage of reduced competition. We're hoping to see this translate to increased pricing power."

The most recent survey indicates a positive outlook and improved sales:

  • 71 percent of companies surveyed reported a profitable Q4—no change from the previous quarter.
  • 35 percent of survey respondents reported an increase in revenue over last quarter.
  • Looking at the two weeks before the survey, 27 percent of companies reported an increase in current sales.
  • 48 percent of companies expect sales to increase through the remainder of Q1, 2014 while 38 percent expect sales to stay the same. Last quarter 39 percent expected a sales increase and 36 percent expected sales to stay the same.
  • 32 percent of respondents indicated that hiring levels will increase. The last time more than 30 percent of respondents planned to hire was during the first quarter of 2011.
  • Just over half of companies reported that healthcare is the labor cost component that increased the fastest last quarter. It has remained the fastest growing cost component for the past 16 quarters. Overtime, the next largest component, dropped 6 points from last quarter to 19 percent.
  • The economy remains the greatest competitive threat to printers (35 percent) but decreased 17 points in importance. Operating costs (17 percent) and lower cost competitors (23 percent) increased.
  • Print buyers place the greatest pricing pressures on digital (24 percent) and ink to substrate printing (23 percent).
  • Referrals (41 percent) continue to be the most popular way to find employees, followed by online ads (26 percent). Use of help wanted ads increased 12 points to 17 percent.

To participate in future surveys, please e-mail always@semperllc.com. More information is available at the Semper International Website: www.semperllc.com/index.cfm?page=president

About Semper International

Semper International is a temporary help placement firm founded and staffed by professionals who were raised and trained in the printing and graphic arts industry, and who understand the innate needs and demands of the profession. Semper has a thorough understanding of all the positions, equipment, and software essential to the business, which assures a perfect employee-employer match.

The Semper team constantly monitors job market trends in the industry. They understood the changes that occurred in job responsibilities when electronic prepress replaced the typesetter and mechanicals, and similarly understands the impact trends such as direct-to-plate and digital print have on staffing. Semper most recently introduced TechCreative professionals whose skills encompass both artistic, design and technical skills to output to any media.

To provide career growth, Semper offers Semper University, an online training program for its employees to help prepare conventional printing professionals for upcoming changes in the industry. Realizing how the Internet is revolutionizing the industry, Semper also works with the most talented Web designers, graphic designers, desktop publishers and production managers.

Semper has offices in Boston (HQ), Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Beach, CA, Minneapolis and Wayne, NJ. Direct Hire services for sales and management positions are conducted throughout the country.

Source: Semper.


 

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