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Are Mad Men Sad Men? Advertising Firms May Have a Morale Problem


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The unemployment rate across the U.S. is low, and in the advertising industry, it's even lower -- meaning companies in the sector may have to work extra hard to acquire and retain talent. But that's actually a big problem for the flashy firms that bring us cool ads and inspired AMC's hit show Mad Men.

The nationwide unemployment rate reached 5.1% in August, its lowest point in seven years. But in some creative and advertising fields, the numbers are even better. Preliminary data from the end of the second quarter from the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists unemployment for marketing managers at 2.6%, web developers at 3.1%, designers at 3.2%, writers at 1.9% and editors at 2.4%.

"Unemployment rates are very, very low at a time when demand is very, very high," said Diana Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group, a creative and marketing staffing agency based in California.

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Which is what could make the findings of new research on ad industry morale extra troubling for firms in the arena.

According to the study, conducted by Campaign US, 37% of advertising industry professionals rate morale at their companies as low or dangerously low, while 34% say it is satisfactory and only 29% say it is good or very good. Of those who indicate morale is high, just 20% are...