A Sign of Hope in Ad Biz: Help Wanted

Ad Industry Employment Is Starting to See a (Slow) Rebound. Digital Accounts for One in Eight Media Jobs

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- The recession officially ended in June 2009, yet the U.S. unemployment rate (9.8%) has barely budged from the peak (10.1%) reached during the downturn.

Key stats and rankings from Ad Age DataCenter reports
But you can't really call this a jobless recovery: The private sector has added at least some jobs every month since the total U.S. payroll hit bottom in December 2009.

The ad market is participating in this -- slow -- job recovery: U.S. ad industry employment -- ad/marketing services plus media -- reached its downturn-period nadir in February 2010, according to Ad Age DataCenter's analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Ad Jobs 2010
Ad Jobs 2010
Within ad/marketing-services sectors, staffing also hit its recession/early-recovery bottom in February 2010.

Media employment fell to its low point in May 2010 after measured-media spending turned northward in first-quarter 2010.

Most ad/media sectors have seen at least some job gains over the past year. Two exceptions: Newspapers and magazines continue to trim jobs, though the level of monthly cutbacks has slowed.

While ad and media companies are doing some hiring, there are still lots of empty cubicles. Ad/marketing-services firms employ 84,300 -- or 11% -- fewer people now than at the all-time peak of November 2007, just before the recession.

Media companies, meanwhile, employ 124,600 -- or 14% -- fewer people now than at the start of recession.

The hot spot for media jobs? Internet media companies and web portals. This sector has added 14,300 jobs since the recession began. Internet media companies and web portals now account for a record 12% of U.S. media employment.

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