Only 22% of agencies surveyed boosted the media department roster in 1996; 67% reported no change in media and 11% indicated a decrease.
ACCOUNT, CREATIVE GAINS
Account management and creative services employment trends rode tandem as 47% of agencies boosted staff in both areas; 40% reported no change and 13% decreased staff.
Media's hold on hiring in large part is caused by technological advances, from computerization to online media services, according to agencies. Agencies also are shifting some buying to media-buying services and using independent agency networks for media placement outside local markets, thereby reducing in-house staff load.
Apart from where agencies are deploying new people, 52% of the surveyed shops (106 of 202) increased their head count, while the rolls at 30% did not change. Of those 106 shops reporting growth in employment, half attributed such gains to growth in existing business and a third did so because of new business gains.
EAST TRENDS UP
Employment in the East fared the best: Some 61% of the East agencies boosted employment and only 10% decreased employment.
It was feast or famine in the Midwest.
Some 50% of Midwest agencies were in a hiring mode for '96, second to the East, but 24% of the region's shops reported roster declines, the most of any region.