The news: In May, the US advertising and public relations sector recorded its highest employment levels since 2001, with a notable increase of 2,600 jobs, per Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.
The elephant in the room: Meanwhile, a contrasting trend is emerging, brought about by artificial intelligence. In its May 2023 research, a Challenger, Gray & Christmas study reported that 3,900 jobs were lost to AI—the first time such losses were attributed to this technology.
Why it matters: The significant job surge indicates a robust recovery in the ad industry, especially amid the challenges of the past few years. It not only underscores the resilience of the sector but also points to a potentially flourishing job market within related services, including media buying, outdoor advertising, and direct mail, among others.
Our take: The rise in employment within the advertising industry and the introduction of AI-driven efficiencies present a complex scenario. While these high employment numbers suggest a vibrant industry, the increasing adoption of AI could reshape the job market.
For instance, AI use in tasks like basic content creation and marketing copywriting is already popular, with 76% using generative AI apps like ChatGPT. It’s likely that AI will be a godsend for certain marketing roles and a death knell for others.