Up to 504,600 people ended last year working in one of the occupations linked to the advertising, public relations and related services heading established by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This figure, extracted by AdAge in its observatory, represents a new all-time high after increasing this figure in December by 11,300 people compared to the previous year and by 1,900 compared to the previous month. The previous record for the sector, set in October, was 504,000 employees, which in turn surpassed the record for the same month in 2000.
However, the figure may still change because BLS offers a month’s lag in advertising agency employment, which accounts for around half of those employed in the sector and whose November level had fallen by 1,700 jobs from October’s all-time high, boosted by 3,000 additions. The 236,500 workers recorded at that time were 8,500 more than last year and it is likely that December will have ended with similarly positive figures in the year-on-year comparison.
In fact, in 2023, only March and November alone saw net job losses in the US marketing industry, and the second half of the year saw a monthly average of 1,200 new hires. These positive figures are all the more remarkable given that the year just past was marked by layoffs in media and technology companies highly dependent on advertising revenues. Macroeconomic circumstances, with the shadow of a possible recession that finally seems to be receding, have conditioned the planning for some, but have not had such drastic consequences on the industry as some had expected.
That is why Magna broke its streak of negative updates to its forecast of increased marketing spend in the US in September, raising the figure to 5.2%, up from the 4.2% it had projected in June. Until then it had been forecasting worse than the previous figure for several quarters. In 2024 the sector will also receive a boost from political advertising linked to the presidential elections in November, as well as all the spending linked to the activation of campaigns around the Paris Olympics.
It will also increase the number of impressions available on connected TV with the introduction of Prime Video ads on a potential base of 115 million users in that country. In principle, these and other expected milestones will increase activity across the industry.