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Feb 17, 2011 12:00 AM
Semper Intl., a placement firm for skilled help in the graphic arts and printing industry, announces its research indicates a positive outlook and an increased willingness to hire.
Semper survey participants include more than 300 small, medium and large printing companies; both clients and prospects of the firm. Participants provide data on revenue and hiring as well as estimated outlooks on future trends.
The most recent findings include: 73% of companies surveyed reported a profitable Q4, a nearly 13% increase vs. last quarter; 12.5% of those interviewed expected sales to decrease through the remainder of Q1 2011 vs. 20% last quarter; most respondents indicated hiring levels will remained the same or increase.
More than two-thirds of companies reported that healthcare is the labor cost component that increased the fastest last quarter -- nearly five times greater than those reporting base pay, the next component.
The greatest perceived competitive threat to survey participants remains largely unchanged from last quarter: Technology (48%), far exceeding supply costs (26%) and labor costs (19%).
Print buyers place the greatest pricing pressure on offset printing (47%) but the pressure has eased somewhat from last quarter. Material cost pressures jumped 4%. Digital printing costs (23%), where the participants report excess capacity, it is the largest component of job cost, and where they fight for market share.
Referrals (37%) and online searches (33%) seem to be the most popular ways to find employees. These methods continue to put pressure on traditional “help wanted” advertising, which continued its downward trend, dropping another 4%.