The modern printing industry is quickly adapting to the digital economy and moving beyond the manufacturing sector. Its operations now encompass services, information technology, communications and creative.
This evolving print information and communication supply chain affects dozens of industry sectors in Australia.
It plays a key economic and technical role as one of Australia’s top 10 manufacturing sectors.
It is in the midst of transformation as it navigates the convergence of innovation and new technology opportunities in the multi-channel media world.
The printing industry employs over 32,000 people directly in more than 5,000 businesses across Australia with revenue of $10 billion and more than 110,000 people indirectly.
If we combine all the sectors that are linked to the products and services produced by this broader industry, it is responsible for supporting and generating almost $56 billion in revenue; contributes more than $18 billion to the economy by way of gross value added; provides jobs for more than 184,000 Australians across more than 26,000 businesses; and pays more than $11 billion in wages and salaries.
Publication printing (books, magazines, newspapers and directories), are currently the largest products and services segment (27.4%). Non-publication printing (cartons, boxes, tickets, food labels, signs, wrappers, postage stamps & stickers) are next (27%) followed by general printing (brochures, leaflets and stationery) (21.3%), and the new rapidly growing digital printing segment (16%), screen printing (4.9%) and other (3.4%).
Capital expenditure is projected to increase from $148 million (March 2015) to $267 million by June 2016.
Industry profit is estimated to increase slightly for 2014-2015 to $968.2 million.
Looking to the future
Print will remain an important communication vehicle in a digital economy particularly for advertising, education and entertainment. It serves all parts of the economy including federal, state and local government, financial services, retailing, distribution, travel and tourism and manufacturing.
Innovation packaging will contribute to the success of other areas of manufacturing such as processed food, health products and high-end engineering. Print is also crucial to maintaining high standards of literacy.