US Media Employment Slumps

19 February 2008

NEW YORK: The decline in the US newspaper industry has been a significant contributor to reaching a fifteen-year nadir in media employment (886,900) during December - despite advertising and marketing services reporting record high employment (796,000) the previous month.

Marketing consultancies are particularly hot, according to Advertising Age's analysis of Labor Department data. Over the past year, they added 14,500 jobs (up 10.8%), nearly matching staff cuts at newspapers (down 16,900 or 4.7%).

One in four newspaper jobs have disappeared since employment peaked in 1990. In 2007 they accounted for 38% of US media jobs, down from 50% in 1990.

TV and radio also cut staffing last year. The only media sectors to add jobs were magazines (up just 400) and internet media companies (up 9,200).

Marketing, on the other hand, is flourishing beyond paid media. Digital initiatives, direct marketing, promotions and events, among others, create more employemt opportunities.

AdAge says agencies have expanded beyond simply creating and placing ads. In 2005 US marcoms shops generated less than half of their revenue from traditional media and media planning/buying.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff