Glimmer of Hope on the Jobs Front as Staffing Stabilizes

Ad Industry Sees First Employment Gains in a Year, but Some Jobs Aren't Coming Back

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Key stats and rankings from Ad Age DataCenter reports
CHICAGO ( -- The advertising and media industry has eliminated 187,500 -- one in nine -- jobs since the recession began in December 2007. Employment is down 19.1% from its peak in the 2000 tech bubble. But there's a glimmer of hope. The industry in October eked out a gain of 2,200 jobs, the first positive month in a year.

Media jobs rose (slightly) in September and October, the first back-to-back monthly gains since 2006. Still, media have slashed payroll by 112,500 (one in eight jobs) jobs since the start of recession; newspapers accounted for nearly 60% of media-job cuts. Media staffing has plunged by 284,000 (one in four) jobs since 2000.

Advertising and marketing-services staffing increased in October for the first time in a year, but employment is down nearly 10% -- 76,300 jobs -- from its 2007 all-time high.

US Employment chart
1. Change in U.S. nonfarm employment. Source: Ad Age DataCenter analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

What's ahead? The nation's unemployment rate reached 10.2% in October -- the highest since 1983 -- but eased back to 10.0% in November. While the jobless rate may bounce around in coming months, it likely will stay below the post-World War II peak (10.8%) hit in 1982.

Economists predict monthly U.S. job growth starting in the first quarter of 2010. But it will be a slow recovery. Many old-economy jobs -- Detroit's automakers; newspapers -- aren't coming back.

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