July Graphic Arts Job – Reach a Plateau

In July 2021, overall employment in printing was down -0.2% compared to June, employment in production up + 0.7% and employment in printing excluding production down -2.0%.

July put the brakes on the upward trend in employment, although fortunately it did not turn down. Overall employment in printing was down -0.2% from June and employment in production was up + 0.7%. Non-production printing employment, however, continued its downward trend, standing at -2.0% from June.

Employment in publishing is also stable; general publishing employment was up + 0.5% from June. Digging into specific segments of publishing (postings per month), from May to June, there was no change in employment in periodical publishing (which had increased by + 4.4% d April to May) and employment in newspaper publishing only increased by + 0.1%.

Creative markets are doing a bit better, and June was a big improvement over May. Graphic design employment increased + 2.5% from May to June, advertising agencies (minus public relations) increased + 1.2% and public relations edged down in June by -0.2 %. Direct mail employment grew by + 1.4%, not bad but still below the + 2.8% increase we saw from April to May. We’ve heard anecdotally that direct mail is a beneficiary of the pandemic and we’ve seen it reflected in recent employment numbers.

In the July General Employment Report, the BLS:

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 943,000 in July and the unemployment rate fell 0.5 percentage points to 5.4 percent, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains have taken place in leisure and hospitality, local public education, and professional and business services.

Meanwhile, “employment for May has been revised up by 31,000, from + 583,000 to + 614,000, and the change for June has been revised up by 88,000, from + 850,000 to + 938,000. With these revisions, employment in May and June combined is 119,000 higher than previously reported. “

Some other quick results from the July report:

  • The activity rate fell from 61.6% to 61.7%.
  • The employment-to-population ratio fell from 58.0% to 58.4%.
  • The number of people working part-time for economic reasons remained relatively stable at 4.5 million in June, close to the pre-pandemic level of 4.4 million.
  • The participation rate of 25 to 54 year olds fell from 81.7% in June to 81.8% in July.

Calculated risk adds: “There are still 5.7 million fewer jobs than before the recession, but overall it was a strong report.”


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