Direct marketing employment indicators continue to weaken

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Owatonna, Minn.—Layoffs and hiring freezes are more widespread in the direct marketing industry this quarter, according to the findings of Bernhart Associates Executive Search’s quarterly employment survey, which was released Tuesday.

The percentage of companies that have imposed a hiring freeze jumped to 19% this quarter, compared with 13% last quarter and more than double the rate six months ago. The percentage of companies planning layoffs remained unchanged at 12%.

It marked the second consecutive quarter that the overall jobs outlook has deteriorated. Among companies that have announced hiring freezes, the majority could not give any indication when the freezes would be lifted, reflecting continued uncertainty. According to the survey, 54% of respondents said they will be filling new positions during the current quarter, down from 58% last quarter.

A total of 129 direct marketing companies responded to the survey, which was e-mailed the week of April 1.

—Carol Krol

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