Survey: Direct Marketing Hiring Lowest Since 2002

Not planning to add staff during the third quarter? That would make your company among the majority, according to the latest employment figures put together by direct marketing recruiting firm Bernhart Associates.

A total of 132 direct marketing agencies, service providers and users responded to the e-mail survey conducted during the first two weeks of July. The survey finds that 47% of the direct marketing companies responding they plan to add staff during this current quarter. That’s a decline of 7% from the previous quarter–and the first reading below 50% since 2002.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise, notes Bernhart Associates president Jerry Bernhart: This is the sixth quarter in a row in which employers say they will add fewer jobs. Among those surveyed, 12% are planning staff cutbacks, and 20% are currently in a hiring freeze.

Is there any good news? “We’re not seeing widespread layoffs like we did during the last economic downturn,” Bernhart says. Forty-percent of the respondents are holding steady and not planning any layoffs. “Employers are filling critical positions while letting other vacant roles remain vacant.”

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