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The employment outlook for marketing and advertising is showing signs of improvement: 91% of marketing and advertising executives say they are confident in their firms' growth prospects for the third quarter of 2010, and 18% say they plan to increase staffing levels, up 5 percentage points from the 13% who said so in the previous quarter, according to The Creative Group Hiring Index for Marketing and Advertising Professionals.

Some 70% of surveyed ad execs anticipate no change in hiring, and 12% anticipate declines in staffing levels.

Web Design and Production in High Demand

Among ad and marketing roles now in demand, Web design and production ranks first (16%), followed by account services (12%) and creative/art direction (12%).

Some 11% of ad execs say they plan to add social media staff, or community managers, who can act as liaisons across the Web, participating in online conversations on social sites and platforms on behalf of brands, as well as creating interesting content for feeds.

Looking for great digital marketing data? MarketingProfs reviewed hundreds of research sources to create our most recent Digital Marketing Factbook (May 2010), a 296-page compilation of data and 254 charts, covering email marketing, social media, search engine marketing, e-commerce, and mobile marketing. Also check out The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs.

Good Talent Hard to Find

Despite high unemployment levels, 45% of ad execs say it's challenging for their firms to find skilled professionals; that level is unchanged from previous quarter.

Moreover, such professionals say their firms interview an average of seven candidates before filling a vacant advertising or marketing position—perhaps signaling that companies are being more selective in their hiring practices given the relatively large pool of prospective candidates.

About the data: Findings are from a telephone survey of more than 500 client-side marketers and agency executives—of which approximately 375 are from companies with 100+ employees and 125 from agencies with 20+ employees. Information from The Creative Group study is featured in the Robert Half Professional Employment Report.

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