Advertising, PR and related services
U.S. employment in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classification of advertising, public relations and related services came in at 497,500 jobs in June based on seasonally adjusted figures.
That puts ad employment at its highest level since March 2001, around the time of the dot-com bubble. That earlier date is noteworthy: It marked the peak of the business cycle and first month of a recession.
The ad market added 2,200 jobs in June, matching the May increase of 2,200 jobs.
BLS downwardly revised the May figure from a preliminary gain of 2,600 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 weakened last fall, dropping in three of four months from September through December. But the ad business found new momentum this year, with staffing increases every month in the first half of 2023 except for March. (Investors are bullish on the business. Shares in agency companies have done well this year, with Omnicom Group’s stock last week hitting an all-time high.)
These ad employment gains came despite cutbacks at ad-centric tech firms and media companies.
Employment in the broad BLS classification of media streaming distribution services, social networks and other media networks and content providers slumped in May to 233,400 jobs on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, its lowest level since January 2022.
Staffing in the classification of web search portals and all other information services fell to 160,200 jobs in May on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, down sharply from its all-time high of 171,900 jobs last January.