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Semper Print Industry Workforce Solutions – Fall 2021 Survey Results

Semper Workforce Solutions routinely conducts surveys within their jobseeker database to stay on top of what workers need in the printing and packaging industries. In their latest installment, the take the temperature of the print industry workforce in the following categories: large sheetfed, web press, digital press, and bindery. The insights below give a unique perspective to help employers prepare for the future and make proactive hiring decisions.

Current Employment Status
With the job markets continuing to fluctuate, as they have over the past 20 months since the beginning of COVID-19, Semper thought it was important to see where we were at in terms of employing the modern workforce. On average, 62.2% of respondents reported being employed full-time, with bindery reporting the highest percentage at 72.2%. This is a 20%+ increase over our survey conducted Spring 2021, where a little more than half indicated being currently employed full-time in comparison. In addition, far fewer respondents reported being employed part-time, leading us to believe that some talent within the industry may be transitioning from part-time to full-time positions. Around one-fifth of respondents reported being currently unemployed, with the lowest percentage reported amongst bindery workers.

Job Satisfaction
Previously we have asked workers to tell us how satisfied they were with their current working conditions based on a scale of 1 to 10. While the average score was 5.75, there was a fluctuation between the different positions. Interestingly, web press operators reported being most satisfied with their jobs while large sheetfed were not. Also of note, this satisfaction score seems to have dropped slightly on average from our earlier survey in value by .85. Many still reported that they would consider taking a new position “if the right one came along.”

Motivation to Change
Pay rate still reigns supreme as the #1 motivating factor across all four segments. Coming up close behind it was healthcare benefits, location, and paid leave. Of note, company culture or whether an employer and the worker were a good fit saw a bump over previous surveys, concluding that this will be a driving force that plays a more significant role in the future.

Seeking A Home
The next question in the survey served to prove that point, with security and stability along with company culture showing up as a decisive factor. These were the skilled workers’ leading responses to “What do you look for in a new employer?” Company growth and career advancement were also key indicators. After the past nearly two years of upheaval, it appears workers are looking for a place to settle and call home.

Speaking of Home
One area that we addressed in our survey that had surprising results was the topic of relocation. We asked workers about the potential for relocation. Bindery and large sheetfed workers were more open to the idea of moving for the right job, while digital and web press operators were less so. The Southeast and Southwest were two prime locations indicated in the survey as target areas.

How Employers Can Help
The survey results give a unique glimpse into the printing and packaging markets. We know that workers are looking for more opportunities because they are either dissatisfied with their current situation or looking for more growth and stability. Staying competitive as an employer means also keeping current with the market. Competitive pay rates, benefits, and growth opportunities will help you secure your current workforce and appear attractive to new employees. The Great Resignation may not cut our industries as profoundly as others like retail or hospitality, but there is a lot to be said for why workers might want to leave in the first place.

For more information contact:
Brian Regan
Semper Group / Semper Health bregan@semperllc.com

Don’t forget, VMA members get a discount on the Wage and Benefits survey which normally costs $750. See the member rate at VMA.bz/wagesurvey.

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