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September 1992, 115, No. 9
Occupational trends in advertising, 1984-90
Kay E. Anderson
Like so many other industries, the advertising industry felt the impact of the mergers and acquisitions prevalent in the 1980's. Outside the industry, takeovers created debt-ridden businesses that were forced to tighten their budgets. Many firms accomplished this by cutting their advertising expenditures. To advertising executives, reduced spending translated into declining revenues for their agencies. Meanwhile, many of these executives were already burdened with debts their own agencies had incurred through mergers within the industry. Cost management became a primary concern for agency managers.
These and other economic changes that affected the advertising industry during the 1980's were reflected in changes in the industry's occupational structure. While industry employment increased by 26.5 percent from 1984 to 1990, occupations showed proportionately different employment patterns. For example, the number of workers in sales and related occupations in the industry grew 57 percent during the period, and employment in managerial and administrative occupations increased 36.5 percent. Professional, paraprofessional, and technical positions, however, showed a much slower growth rate, increasing only 11.5 percent.
To analyze occupational staffing patterns in the advertising industry during the 1980's, this article uses data derived from the 1984, 1987, and 1990 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) surveys. The OES survey is a Federal-State cooperative survey of nonfarm establishments designed to develop current occupational employment data on wage and salary workers by industry. The survey is conducted over a 3-year cycle: manufacturing industries and hospitals are surveyed during the first year; mining, construction, finance, and service industries during the second; and trade, transportation, communications, public utilities, education, and government services industries during the third. The survey is based on a probability sample and is stratified by industry, geographic area, and size (number of employees) of the firm.1
This excerpt is from an article published in the September 1992 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 For definitions of the occupations listed in the OES survey, contact the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics, Room 4840, 2, Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20212-001. For additional information about the survey, see BLS Handbook of Methods, Bulletin 2285 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1988), pp. 28-30.
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