Agencies this decade scored heady growth in headcount
Agency employment tumbled with the ad business in the Great Recession a decade ago. But since then, agencies have scored a great rebound in jobs.
U.S. ad agencies now have 206,100 employees, a 28 percent increase from when employment bottomed out in early 2010, according to Ad Age Datacenter’s analysis of job figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But ad agencies’ strong job growth spurt may be over. Employment is down a bit from the all-time high reached in summer 2018 (208,700).
Public relations agencies have seen even stronger job growth, with U.S. employment surging 39 percent from its 2010 low point.
PR agency employment (65,500) now is at an all-time high, reflecting in part the expanded role PR has taken to help marketers make and keep brands relevant in social media. For agencies, that adds up to some good PR.
The Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, but agency employment—and total U.S. employment—didn’t hit bottom until early 2010. Agency job growth since then has outperformed overall U.S. job growth. Total U.S. employment now stands at a record 152 million jobs, up 17 percent from early 2010.