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The job prospects of direct and digital marketers have weakened for the fourth quarter of 2012, according to Bernhart Associates' Quarterly Employment Report: 46% of employers plan to add marketing staff over the next three months, down from the 50% who planned to do so six months earlier.

"In terms of job creation we're only a few points ahead of a year ago," said Jerry Bernhart, direct and digital marketing recruiter and principal of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, which conducts the hiring survey.

"Much like the overall US economy, our employment indicators have remained within a narrow range for the past year and a half. We'd like to see better numbers, but for lower- to mid-level digital and direct marketing job seekers there is plenty of activity out there."

Two other key employment indicators tracked each quarter—hiring freezes and layoffs—have weakened since the previous survey (conducted in April 2012):

  • 21% of employers how have a hiring freeze, up 8 points from six month earlier.
  • 5% of employers say they are planning layoffs in the second quarter, up slightly from the 4% reported in April.

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