According to County Business Patterns, in 2010, NAICS 32223 (Stationery Product Manufacturing Plants) had 24,349 employees. This NAICS category declined slowly over the remainder of the decade, ending with 15,678 employees in 2019. Also: following a tweet from BoSacks about newspaper circulation.

According to County Business Patterns, in 2010, NAICS 32223 (Stationery Product Manufacturing Plants) had 24,349 employees. This has been declining for the remainder of the decade, with this NAICS category reaching (so far) 15,678 employees in 2019.

The Bureau of the Census definition for this business classification:

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in converting paper or paperboard into products used for writing, filing, works of art and other similar applications.

While establishments in this category have also declined, it was around the time of the last data points (circa 2016) that industry watchers noted a resurgence of interest in stationery and related products. Noted Stationery trends magazine in 2016: “There is a strong resurgence in consumer passion for stationery and specialty paper products. From newspapers and cards to printed matter, written words and personal feelings are coming back stronger than ever, and in new ways. Traditional printed greeting cards remain quite strong (a common theme among them has been ‘I got you a real card’), while LEDs, audio, and other electronic / rich elements have caught on. in printed greeting cards. The Greeting Card Association has also followed an increased interest in handwritten greeting cards, unique shapes, leaves and other special effects.

Diaries with Unique Uses are also standing out, from blank diaries to travel diaries, self-exploration diaries and diaries that trace family memories, have been trending topics. For fitness enthusiasts, “Workout Diaries” (“WODBooks”) are also popular articles. The classic Moleskine notebook saw a resurgence in the middle of the decade, and photos of Moleskines filled with notes are being shared on social media. Christmas cards and other greeting cards are increasingly personalized / personalized, featuring the sender’s family and printed through digital printing services such as Shutterfly. “Handcrafted”, often using typography, is often the term used in much of this product category, although many of these “manufacturers” may not be reflected in census data because they have tend to be craftsmen or individual hobbyists. While these data points are a few years old, it will be interesting to see in a few years what the pandemic and forced lockdowns have done to demand these types of items.

Over time we will add additional data from County Business Models, such as number of employees, payroll and similar information for additional business classification relevant to the graphic communications industry.

The four-digit NAICS 3222 includes a variety of different types of converted packaging, and over the coming months, we’ll continue to take a look at them in turn, including:

  • 32229 Manufacture of other converted paper products
  • 322291 Manufacture of toilet paper products
  • 322299 Manufacture of all other converted paper products

This Macro Media moment

Last week, BoSacks tweeted an old graphic, one of Dr. Joe Webb’s biggest hits:

Bo wrote:

It shows the newspaper penetration rate by household. As you can see, in 1960 there were 1.1 newspapers per household in the United States. By 1995 and in the very early stages of the Internet, the household penetration rate had fallen to 0.6. And at the end of that old chart in 2008, the penetration rate was 0.4. Today I’m sure it’s much worse, but I don’t have the data.

But we do! And that is much worse: we’re down to about 0.2 diaries per household. It’s barely the sports page.

(It’s Throwback Friday, so we used the same old Dr Joe chart format.)

Either way, Bo adds, “home newspaper circulation has been in free fall for 61 years.” You can’t really blame the Internet for the decline of newspapers; it started in the 1960s, but the real decline in broadcasting began with the advent of cable TV, CNN, and 24 hour cable news. All things must pass.

(And, no, we can’t explain the lack of data in 2010.)