Semper Workforce Solutions Reveals Results of Q4 2022 Survey

Semper Q4 2022 Survey Results

March 9, 2023 – Semper Workforce Solutions has released the results of the 2022 fourth quarter survey of the printing and packaging industries. Recent industry feedback indicates the majority of firms experienced steady sales or growth, but at a lesser pace. In Q4 the top issue was labor, with the labor market supply side getting looser and pay rates more reasonable. Still, the market has not normalized.

Dave Regan, Semper International Co-Founder and CEO, shared, “One area we track in this survey is profitability. Between this period and previous we have seen a significant reduction in these numbers. We will watch this area closely and feel companies should continue adjusting their pricing and pass through the supply chain increases we all have been experiencing. In future surveys, we will be simplifying this metric.”

The data collected for each survey represents several industry categories: commercial printing, packaging, display and large format graphics, apparel and decorating, and others. Critical to this report is a commitment from contributors to provide steady consistent quarterly data. Semper’s objective is to provide data that is a balanced mix of geography, revenue, and company types.

Q4 2022 survey highlights include:

  • Firms experienced a decrease in profitability and shift towards the 4-6 % range, where previously they averaged in the 8+%.
  • When asked if sales had increased YTD 2022 versus 2021 (a pandemically affected year) it was a nearly unanimous response that sales are up!
  • Outlook for Q1 2023 is a decrease in sales going forward, which is expected based on the interest rate trends we have been experiencing. 
  • The number one concern is labor and sourcing it – this need has eclipsed all other concerns. 
  • Online job boards continue to be a leading source to recruit new employees, including and our partner site Internal employee referrals, which used to represent 30% or more of the supply from our respondents, are now less than 12%.

Our survey results give Semper a unique glimpse into the printing and packaging markets. The Semper Team leverages this data to facilitate the exchange of information and, at times, the exchange of physical items between entities. We honor our industry community with a commitment to maintain confidentiality, thereby earning trust and confidence of participating businesses.

For those organizations who would like to be included in our Q1 2023 survey, reach out to – questions will be available for data collection starting April 17th. Other questions about staffing and hiring can also be submitted via email or on the new Semper website

Survey Participation Is Encouraged. Semper will make a $5.00 contribution for each valid survey to the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF).

PGSF is a not-for-profit, private industry-directed organization that offers technical school, undergraduate, and graduate fellowship assistance to men and women interested in a career in the graphic communications field. As you will see in survey question #9, the shrinking labor pool is the number one industry concern.

Help us help you plan tomorrow’s workforce!


Semper was founded and is run by graphic arts and staffing professionals. Since 1994, Semper has provided staffing solutions for flexible, temporary, and permanent employment needs in print, copy, packaging, and prepress. Our efficient, reliable business model has helped transform how a wide range of print and graphics companies fill important roles or stretch production capacity.

Semper also helps clients expand into new areas and meet the demands of the digital age. As the print and graphics industry evolves and diversifies, Semper helps companies face the changes to come.


Jules VanSant, Partner
Bubble & Hatch