Weakening economic signals are having their effect on the employment outlook for digital and direct marketers in the third quarter (Q3), according to (pdf) the latest quarterly employment report by Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC.

"The numbers have turned slightly lower for Q3, which is no surprise given growing uncertainties about the economic recovery," said Jerry Bernhart, principal of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, which has been conducting quarterly hiring surveys in digital and direct marketing since 2001.

Among the key findings from the Q3 survey:

  • 39% of respondents said they will add to staff during the third quarter of 2010, down 4 percentage points from Q2.
  • 23% of respondents currently have a hiring freeze—a slight increase from 20% last quarter.
  • The percentage of companies planning layoffs in Q3 is 6%, compared with 3% during the spring quarter.

In each of those indices, B2B is better positioned than B2C, Bernhart found:

  • 43% of B2B companies are planning to add digital and direct marketing staff.
  • 17% have a hiring freeze.
  • 5% are planning to reduce staff.

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