Semper International Survey Reports Decline in Sales, Rise to Prominence for Digital Print
BOSTON — July 26, 2016 — This week, Semper International, the nation’s largest supplier of skilled talent in the printing, pre-media and marketing industries, released its Third Quarter Economic Insight Report, which found a stark slowdown in overall industry profits and sales forecasts.
The economy returned to the forefront of industry threats in this survey, with 32% of companies indicating this was their main concern. This data finds many firms beginning to drop into survival mode, with hiring forecasts down and diversification rates declining 12% over the course of the quarter. While firms have not yet reported these economic pressures have crossed the line into staff reduction mode, this survey finds companies continue to struggling with the same profitability pressures we have seen since the third quarter of 2015.
Since February 2003, Semper International has provided a quarterly survey offering estimates of trends in the printing and graphics industries. Survey participants include a cross section of large, mid-size and small commercial printers, advertising agencies and media 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 are not screened. To preserve confidentiality, individual company information is not part of the tabulation.
According to Semper CEO and report author David Regan, "For this quarter’s report, economic fortunes have turned a bit. The data we see from respondents today is significantly different than what we experienced last quarter, and for the most part reflects a fundamental slowing in the economy." He assesses, "Based on these indicators, we feel that we are (once again) at an inflection point where companies are straining to protect staffing levels and profitability, but that the clock is running. If we don’t see an increase in aggregate demand soon, we may see some cutbacks as companies are forced to tighten their belts."
Additional indicators the Semper Report revealed include:
- 70% of companies logged profits in this cycle, down one percentage point from the prior quarter, and significantly less than the 80%+ levels reported last year at this time.
- 66% of companies say they will not hire new talent this quarter
- While growth expectations stabilized from their recent declines, just 42% of companies expect sales growth in the next three months
- Across the industry, digital print overtook traditional print as the industry’s primary profit center for the first time in the history of the survey.
About Semper International
Semper International, the nation’s largest and most trusted supplier of skilled staff for the print, pre-media, graphic and interactive media industry. With over 20 years of service, the Semper International team has placed more than 50,000 team members in top companies from Staples and Jack Morton, as well as small and midsized printing and production companies. With a management team born and raised in the industry, 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.
Semper has offices in Boston (HQ), Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Minneapolis and Wayne N.J. Direct Hire services for sales and management positions are conducted throughout the country.
Source: Semper International.