LONDON: A record number of people are currently employed in UK adland, according to the new figures from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) which shows employed numbers rising 6% in 2013.
The IPA's annual Agency Census, which claims to be the definitive survey of employment trends in media, advertising and marketing communications agencies, reported that the employed base of its member agencies stood at 21,715 in 2013.
Of this number, one third (32.8%) were employed in media agencies and the rest (67.2%) in creative and other non-media agencies. Both of these universes, noted the IPA, exceeded the pre-recession levels of 2008.
Advertising is of course a young person's industry, with the average employee age just under 34, while that of senior management is a decade older at 43. Women accounted for just under half of staff (48.6%) and a just over one quarter of those in an executive management position (26%). The proportion of employees from a non-white background stood at 11.2%, up from 10.6% in 2012.
Staff turnover was relatively high at around 28%, although this was a bigger issue at media agencies (31.2%) than the creative and other non-media agencies (26.3%).
Digital roles accounted for 9.4% of those employed in creative and other non-media agencies and 5.6% in media agencies. Social media data was reported for the first time, with this discipline accounting for 1.1% of those employed in creative and non-media agencies and 1.9% of those employed in media agencies.
Paul Bainsfair, IPA Director General, welcomed the findings. "Numbers are up, which reflects the fact that the economy is finally growing again," he said. He was also encouraged by the rise in the number of women in executive positions and the direction of travel as regards diversity "although there is further to go here".
Alex Hunter, IPA Finance Director. Described the census as "a finger on the pulse of the UK's economy as a whole".
"It makes for a healthy picture as we move into 2014," he added.
Warc's latest Global Marketing Index portrayed a similar outlook, as the index of staffing levels in Europe rose sharply to 58.3 in November, on a scale where values above 50 indicate a positive trend.
Data sourced from IPA; additional content by Warc staff