US Ad Employment Just Hit a New All-Time High

More positive news on the job front in the new year. Employment in advertising, public relations and related services closed out 2023 with staffing at an all-time high, as noted in SCREEN last month. Well, it appears those job numbers have started the year with a solid gain, adding 2,000 jobs to reach yet another record high.

Overall U.S. employment surged by 353,000 jobs in January, according to the monthly employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was the strongest growth in the past 12 months. Job growth far exceeded economists’ expectations, a sign of the labor market’s continued resilience.

The unemployment rate, based on a separate survey of households, held at 3.7% for the third straight month.

Breaking Down the Numbers

Here is a look at the advertising community employment numbers from Ad Age as we forge ahead into 2024 with renewed optimism…

U.S. employment in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classification of advertising, PR and related services came in at 521,300 jobs in January based on seasonally adjusted figures, breaking a new record. 

The ad market gained 2,000 jobs in January following an increase of 4,500 jobs in December.
BLS upwardly revised the December figure from a gain of 1,900 jobs reported a month ago. It revised the November figure to a gain of 600 jobs vs. a loss of 800 jobs reported a month ago.

This BLS jobs bucket includes ad agencies, PR agencies and related services such as media buying, media reps, outdoor advertising, direct mail and other services related to advertising. Ad agencies account for the biggest portion—about 46%—of those jobs.

Ad employment in 2023 increased every month except for February and March. Over the past six months, the average monthly gain for the ad market was 2,200 jobs.

These ad employment gains came despite cutbacks over the past year at media companies and ad-centric tech firms, including recent layoffs at Amazon and Alphabet’s Google.

More Records Ahead?

As mentioned above, the U.S. in January added 353,000 jobs based on seasonally adjusted figures, far above economists’ predictions. That was the strongest monthly gain since January 2023, when the economy added 482,000 jobs.

January’s job increase marked 37 consecutive months of job gains, an uninterrupted winning streak that began in January 2021, according to Ad Age.

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