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US recession takes toll on media and advertising jobs

NEW YORK - The US media and advertising sectors shed 65,100 jobs in 2008 as newspapers getting rid of one in ten workers and online media the only area where employment increased.

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According to research by AdAge, US media and advertising industries have cut 3.9% of their workforce since December 2007, higher in percentage terms than the 2.6% average cut from the overall American workforce.

Internet media companies remain one of the only sectors escaping unscathed, adding 5,400 jobs during the same period, a growth of 7%, bringing total employment to 82,200, its highest level in seven years.

Traditional media was hardest hit during 2008, eliminating 4.6% of staff, accounting for 41,000 US jobs.

Nearly one in ten newspaper employees were made redundant in 2008, as 31,200 jobs were cut across the flailing US print industry. Magazine publishers dropped an additional 4,500.

Radio cut 8,100 jobs and broadcast television laid off 5,100, while cable TV bucked the trend, adding 2,500 jobs.

The advertising and marketing sector slashed 24,100 jobs during the same period, a drop of 3.1%.

Six thousand staff were cut from ad and marketing firms in 2008, and graphic design companies cut 7,400 staff, nearly 10%.

Marketing consultancy firms added 2,200, as did public relations agencies, adding 1,200 more.

The recession has cost 3.6m Americans their jobs so far, with nearly half of those coming since November 2008. In January, US unemployment hit 7.6%, its highest level since 1992.

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