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Recession takes toll on direct marketing jobs

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Greg Wurtz has been out of work since early spring, which is about average among unemployed direct marketers. He lost his position as client services director and director of marketing for health care marketing company Cegedim Dendrite Marketing Solutions as a result of corporate consolidation, but nevertheless he feels optimistic about his prospects. “I've been surprised at the number of opportunities available,” Wurtz said. “I've gotten a number of good at-bats, both from recruiters and finding stuff on the Web. But I've just come through the summer, when it's historically quiet. Clearly I would hope for more opportunities.” Half of out-of-work direct marketers have been actively looking for a full-time job in the industry for up to six months, according to a study released last week by direct marketing recruiting company Bernhart Associates Executive Search. Among those recently unemployed, 20% said they have been actively looking for a full-time direct marketing job between one and three months, while 30% said their search has lasted from four to six months. The online poll, conducted this month among 412 respondents, excluded those only looking for part-time work, the currently employed and those who are unemployed but looking only passively. According to the study's author, Bernhart Associates owner Jerry Bernhart, out-of-work direct marketers have been looking for work longer than the national average for unemployed workers overall. “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the median duration of unemployment, not seasonally adjusted, was 15.5 weeks for August,” Bernhart said. “Our survey came in at a median of around 28 weeks.” Bernhart said his research indicates the direct marketing job market has been deteriorating for two years. Among other findings from the survey, senior- level direct marketers have fared a bit better than their lesser-paid colleagues. Those who were in the $100,000-to-$150,000 salary bracket have been looking for work on average between four and six months, while direct marketers who were in the $50,000-to-$100,000 bracket have been seeking employment for seven to nine months. M
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