"The Labor Department can’t allow any industry in the data to shrink so small that it could be used to identify a specific company, said John Stewart, supervisory economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics."
The commercial printing industry in the US includes around 35,000 companies with $90 billion of annual revenue.
Gee, only 35,000 companies with $90 billion of annual revenue?
Maybe the Bureau of Labor Statistics should be added to the list of Discontinued Categories.
Having been on the other side of statistician-hood, I can see where the Department of Labor is coming from.
My example: Our print shop is in a relatively isolated census area and we are one of the largest printshops here.
Our required-to-submit information could easily be data-massaged and sufficiently isolated to get quite an accurate picture of our particular shop's whole set of problems and opportunities. I contend that this would be harmful to both our competitiveness and our area's economy - and as a stakeholder (or taxpayer) I expect my government not to hurt me and my neighbors.
40 years ago, our yellow pages had 250 printers listed. Now it has 2, with maybe 20 more listed on the web for our area... with a 100% increase in population! That means that every printer in our census area is giving perhaps 400 times more critical information than 40 years ago (20 times the exposure, squared). That's just too much to reveal.
Commercial printing is indeed a shrinking industry, and to preserve it and to hold its information in confidence it is entirely reasonable to put it under a different heading with other allied industries.
The reclassification is an entirely responsible move, in spite of its seemingly cavalier dismissal of our belovèd trade.
Sustainable Printing Goes
Far Beyond Using FSC Certified
or Recycled Paper
This informative paper on deinking: demand, principles, problems and solutions also explains why printing technologies are not all equally compatible with paper recycling systems; and why just a small fraction of printed material in the paper can cause difficulties. Link To White Paper