The advertising sector in the United States cut 2,400 jobs in May

Advertising, public relations and related services

Employment in the United States in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classification of advertising, public relations and related services stood at 474,600 jobs in May based on unseasonally adjusted numbers.

The loss of 2,400 advertising jobs in May followed a modest gain of 700 jobs in April.

This is the first monthly decline in advertising jobs since January. Aside from the employment decline at the start of the year (advertising jobs have fallen every January since 2000 on an unadjusted basis, according to Ad Age Datacenter’s analysis of BLS data), the month of May led to the first monthly decline in advertising employment since November 2020, when the pandemic began.

The BLS revised April’s figure upward from a preliminary gain of 500 jobs it announced a month ago, when Ad Age noted “a marked deceleration in job growth.”

This BLS compartment includes advertising agencies, public relations agencies and related services such as media buying, media representatives, outdoor advertising, direct mail and other advertising related services. Advertising agencies account for the largest share (about 45%) of jobs in this BLS compartment.

Employment in advertising, public relations and related services stood at 484,400 on the eve of the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020. Employment in advertising reached a pandemic nadir of 430,800 in January 2021.

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