Desktop publishers held about 35,000 jobs in 2002. Two out of three worked in the newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishing, and printing and related support activities; the rest worked in a wide variety of industries.
Firms in the publishing industry employ most desktop publishers. These firms publish newspapers, periodicals, books, directory and mailing lists, and greeting cards. A large number of desktop publishers also work for printing and related support activities firms, which print a wide range of products—newspapers, books, labels, business cards, stationary, inserts, catalogs, pamphlets, and advertisements—while business form establishments print material such as sales receipts and business forms and perform support activities such as data imaging and bookbinding. Establishments in printing and related support activities typically perform custom composition, platemaking, and related prepress services. (A separate statement on prepress technicians and workers
appears elsewhere in the Handbook.) Other desktop publishers print or publish materials in-house or in-plant for business services firms, government agencies, hospitals, or universities, typically in a reproduction or publications department that operates within the organization.
The printing and publishing industries are two of the most geographically dispersed industries in the United States, and desktop-publishing jobs are found throughout the country. However, most jobs are in large metropolitan cities.