ISA Releases Economic Impact of the Sign & Visual Communications Industry Study

The International Sign Association has released the new ISA Economic Impact of the Sign & Visual Communications Industry by Ernst & Young, which shows the effect that the industry has on the U.S. economy. The study estimates the industry as having generated at least $37.5 billion in direct and indirect economic output with more than 200,000 employees in 2012.

Only those firms that self-identified as sign companies were included in direct output tally; including the indirect output—firms that contribute to the total sign output but do not consider themselves sign companies—provides a more complete picture of the industry.

“ISA is excited to be able to provide this research,” said Lori Anderson, ISA president and CEO. “As we more fully understand our industry’s impact on the economy and its influence across the country, we can use this to affect codes and regulatory issues at the local, state and federal levels.”

Among the key findings:

• The sign industry is estimated to have had 201,900 employees in 2012; direct and indirect employee compensation was an estimated $11 billion.

• There were an estimated 15,385 U.S. establishments that indicated they were engaged in sign activity in 2012.*

• The sign industry purchased an estimated $10.4 billion in goods and services from suppliers in 2012 with 88 percent coming from U.S. suppliers.

The ISA Economic Impact of the Sign & Visual Communications Industry by Ernst & Young also estimates the sign industry’s impact on U.S. employment, sales, employee compensation, and taxes for 2012.

The National Association of Sign Supply Distributors (NASSD) and industry magazines worked with ISA to encourage participation. Ernst & Young provided the analysis based on government figures and information provided by nearly 2,000 industry firms.

The study is available free for ISA and NASSD members; nonmembers may purchase it for $1,000. ISA will also be offering a webinar to further elaborate on the research results in the coming weeks. To learn more, please contact ISA’s David Hickey at 703/797-0479 or david.hickey@signs.org.

* The study only includes those establishments that classified themselves as engaged in sign manufacturing or whose main purpose is sign manufacturing.


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