The unemployment rate in California is over 10% and higher than it has been in more than 60 years. Yet there are still misguided people who want to kill the direct mail and printing industry. How does the direct mail industry affect jobs in California? Let’s look at the facts:
- More than 49,000 people in California were directly employed in direct mail marketing in 2008.
- The printing industry alone in California employs over 104,000 people and had over $16 billion in annual sales in 2008.
- The paper industry in California employs more than 26,000 people and produces revenue of more than $9.2 billion.
- Finally, the U.S. Postal Service employs over 74,000 people in California.
Let’s also keep in mind that every dollar spent on catalog direct mail in 2008 generated an average return on investment of $7.28. Every dollar spent on non-catalog direct mail generated an average return on investment of $15.55 in 2008.
There is a lot being said these days about the negative effects that paper and direct mail have on our environment. But let’s take a closer look at the facts rather than the rhetoric: There aren’t many industries that are genuinely sustainable. However, the paper industry is inherently sustainable. The paper and forest industry replenishes more than it takes and ensures the sustainability of our forests by planting 1.7 million trees every single day – that is more than 3 times what is harvested.
Paper is biodegradable, recyclable, and reusable. Nearly 60% of all paper in the U.S. is recycled and more than 63% of the fiber used to make new paper comes from recycled sources. Compare those numbers to the recycling of electronics: Only 18% of all electronic devices are currently recycled. More than 2 million tons of electronic devices were disposed of in U.S. landfills in 2008. Computers and other electronics don’t grow on trees.