Bernhart Survey Reveals New Data On Direct Marketing Unemployment

Note from Jim. Here is a grim look at the realities of employment in the direct marketing industry – From a survey done by Bernhart Associates.  In a nutshell, what this survey doesn’t state is simple…. If you are employed in this economy, do everything you can to stay employed.  Work harder, longer, smarter, get “win’s” on the board and in general make your self indispensable!

Furthermore, do everything you can to build your network of contacts in case you should find yourself unemployed.  Remember, building your personal rolodex is just as important as being exceptional at your job!

Bernhart Survey Reveals New Data On Direct Marketing Unemployment

If you’re a recently unemployed direct marketer, you’ll be interested in a new study that shows for the first time how long other jobless DM’ers have been looking for work and how direct marketing compares with the latest national figures on unemployment.

The innovative survey was conducted by Jerry Bernhart of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, a leading direct marketing executive recruiter who also issues widely followed quarterly employment updates.

“We wanted to get a sense for how long unemployed direct marketers have been looking for a job, and we also wanted to break that down by levels of compensation to determine how various salary levels compare,” said Bernhart. “Finally, we wanted to compare unemployment duration in direct marketing with the overall U.S. economy.”

The survey focused on respondents who said they are currently unemployed and are actively looking for a full-time direct marketing position.

This excluded those who are looking for only part-time work, the currently employed, and those who are unemployed but only passively looking.

According to the survey, 20% said they have been actively looking for a full-time direct marketing job between 1 and 3 months.  30% said their search has lasted from 4 to 6 months, and 24% said they’ve been looking for between 7 and 9 months.  The remainder, 26%, said they have been trying to land a direct marketing job for more than 10 months.

And if you think more senior level direct marketers have been looking longer than lower level job seekers, survey results show that’s not necessarily the case.

For example, in the $50,000 to $100,000 pay range, the category with the most responses was 7 to 9 months, while in the $100,000 to $150,000 salary bracket, the category with the most responses was 4 to 6 months.  Bernhart noted, however, that once duration of unemployment exceeded 9 or 10 months, the more senior level job seekers quickly outnumbered their lower level counterparts.

In the $200,000 plus salary range, Bernhart said 36% of respondents reported that they had been looking 10 months or more.  Comparable figures for those who earned between $50,000 and $100,000 and those who earned between $100,000 and $150,000 were 22%, and 29%, respectively.

Bernhart said survey results also indicate that direct marketers have been looking for work longer than the overall national labor force.

“The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week that the median duration of unemployment, not seasonally adjusted, was 15.5 weeks for August.  Our survey came in at a median of 6.52 months, which would be around 28 weeks,” said Bernhart.

“That seems plausible when you consider that our own quarterly employment surveys have shown that direct marketing was in the grips of a deteriorating labor market for two years,” he added.

Bernhart said he will repeat the job search duration survey in about six months to track any changes.

A total of 412 individuals responded to the random survey which was emailed the first week of September to 8,500 direct marketers from agencies, service providers and online/offline direct marketing companies.

Bernhart said the fourth quarter direct marketing hiring survey will be going out at the end of September.  Third quarter results showed that unemployment in direct marketing may be bottoming, with companies planning more hires and fewer layoffs in the months to come compared with the first half of the year.  Employers who would like to participate in the next Bernhart Associates Employment Survey should send an email with the subject “Opt-In” to

About Bernhart Associates:

Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, is owned by Jerry Bernhart, a leading and nationally recognized direct marketing recruiter, writer and speaker focusing on senior level Multichannel Direct Marketing, CRM, ECommerce, Database Marketing, Business Development and Quantitative Analysis positions.  Jerry has been a leading direct marketing recruiter since 1990, and specializes in direct marketing positions, online and offline, at all levels.  The Bernhart Associates Employment Survey, now in its eighth year, has become the most widely followed employment report in direct marketing and measures employers’ hiring plans for the coming quarter. It is the only forward-looking employment survey of its kind in direct marketing and unparalled in size and scope.  In February, Bernhart Associates partnered with the Direct Marketing Association in providing exclusive analysis for the DMA’s 2009 Employment Outlook Report, a comprehensive study of trends in hiring and employee retention in direct marketing and available for sale at the DMA Bookstore.  Viewed as a leading authority on issues related to direct marketing recruiting, Jerry is a frequent speaker at national direct marketing conferences and is often quoted by the direct marketing news media. Jerry has written dozens of articles for all leading online and offline direct marketing publications and conducts a widely followed employment survey for EM+C covering internet marketing and ecommerce.

DATACo, LLC, based in Arlington Heights, IL, helps provides research and analysis for the Bernhart Associates Quarterly Employment Report and Job Duration Survey.

3 thoughts on “Bernhart Survey Reveals New Data On Direct Marketing Unemployment

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