The employment picture across the US has yet to get better, according to data released October 8 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.6% in September. The situation is much the same for direct marketers, according to a report released this week by Bernhart Associates, a firm that tracks direct marketing employment.
Bernhart found that 41% of respondents plan to add to staff in the fourth quarter of this year, up only slightly from 39% last quarter. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they have a hiring freeze in place, up from 23% last quarter, while the percentage of companies planning layoffs rose slightly to 8%, compared to 6% last quarter. Of the new hiring taking place, most is happening at b-to-b service providers, with nearly half of respondents in that space planning to add staff during the final three months of the year.