Andrew Paparozzi

Labor challenges aren’t new, and with workers across the board re-evaluating how they balance their professional career with their home life, commercial printers cannot afford to continue to do business as usual when it comes to hiring and retaining staff members.

While consolidation has been a growth and hang-on strategy for some in the printing industry, the space is undergoing such a seismic shift in its expanding arrays of services that the old metrics and measures no longer apply. That’s the takeaway message from those in the industry, including Andrew Paparozzi, SVP and chief economist at the nonprofit National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL).

With the dawning of 2011 on the horizon, the business outlook had already turned brighter, even before the outcome of the November elections buoyed the spirits of the business community. "The bias of the U.S. economy is that it wants to grow," observes Ron Davis, Ph.D., and Printing Industries of America's (PIA) chief economist and vice president.

In the vernacular of economists, the outlook is for the United States to continue seeing a "U"-shaped recovery from the Great Recession. While the economy has bottomed out and the decline stopped, there will be a wide and slow up-slope to the recovery, such as it is.

Economic conditions may have bumped environmental concerns from the top of the printing industry’s investment objectives, but more than 80% of printers surveyed by NAPL’s Printing Economic Research Center (PERC) are either pursuing or soon intend to pursue environmental sustainability measures, according to a recently published NAPL White Paper, Environmental Sustainability: Structural Change or Just a Fad?

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