Job listings for marketing, comms, advertising and media decline by over 60%

The marketing and communications, and advertising, arts and media industries have been two of the hardest hit sectors by Australia’s economic downturn.

Job listings for ‘marketing and communications’ were down 60.9% in April compared to March, while ‘advertising, arts and media’, was down 60.5%. The industries were only outdone by ‘human resources and recruitment’ (-69.1%), legal (-67.3%), ‘administration and office support’ (-64.2%), ‘sport and recreation’ (-63%), ‘consulting and strategy’ (-61.7%), and sales (-61.4%).

(Click to enlarge)

The new data comes from job listings site Seek, which showed job listings for April were down 65.6% across the board compared to April 2019, and 49.9% compared to March.

New South Wales and Victoria were the hardest hit, with the decline between March and April hitting 52.4% in NSW and 56.3% in Victoria.

Western Australia is down 42.4% month-on-month, Queensland suffered a decline of 48.2%, South Australia down 43.9%, and the Northern Territory down 41.9%.

Click to enlarge

Kendra Banks, managing director of Seek in Australia and New Zealand, noted the impact of isolation measures on the data.

“April was the first full calendar month where we had a clear indication of how coronavirus was impacting the employment market,” she said. “The full set of social isolation measures were not imposed until mid-March, which explains why March job ad declines were -27.4%, compared to April’s decline of -49.9%.”

Despite the confronting figures, Banks was keen to push the idea that the job market may have turned a corner, pointing to positive signs in emerging data.

“In the week ended 10 May, job advertising was down -59.7% compared to the same week last year. At the lowest point in April, week ended 19 April shows a job ad decline of -69.1% compared to the same week in 2019. This 10% shift means we may have turned a corner after reaching a particularly low point of decline,” she said.

“In the first two weeks of May, we have seen job ad volumes slowly creep back up, which aligns to the will of governments to get the economy moving and get people back into jobs. We know this will take some time, which is why we are cautious to be too positive at this point.”

The data confirms what the industry has known for some time, with advertising revenues down and the industry in survival mode across media owners and agencies.

Australia’s media and ad market is in decline. (Photo by Ussama Azam on Unsplash)

Just this morning, Buzzfeed revealed it would stand-down its Australian editorial team to focus on the US market. Other publishers, including Bauer Media – which recently absorbed Seven West Media’s Pacific Magazines – have taken drastic measures to reduce their costs. Seven axed 50 sales staff this month. Australian Community Media (ACM) has paused some of its titles, as has News Corp.

Most media companies, including Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), Australian Radio Network (ARN), Seven, Ten, News Corp and Mumbrella have taken measures including reduced pay and hours, hiring freezes and stand-downs to weather the storm.

Newswire service AAP also remains in limbo.

Agencies too, including CHE Proximity and Edelman, have made large rounds of redundancies in recent months.

Holding groups such as IPG Mediabrands and WPP AUNZ have also taken measures to reduce costs.

Seek, Banks noted, would be keeping an eye on the recovery.

“As restrictions are lifted across the states and territories, it will be interesting to see which industries are the first movers to recover.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.