At every PR professional society meeting I’m asked if we see things improving in hiring. But the picture, while better in DC than most of the country, is still blurry.
According to David Wessel, the Wall Street Journal’s economics editor and Capital columnist, “. . . even though the economy has been growing for more than two years, workers still haven’t recovered from the deep recession.”
He notes that the Labor Department reports that of the 6.1 million workers who lost jobs they had held for at least three years between 2009 and 2011, 45% remained unemployed as of January 2012 and around 50% of those who had found full-time positions had accepted lower wages.
But staffing continues to be strong in temporary staffing, through agencies like PRofessional Solutions and for independents. A survey by the American Staffing Association, CareerBuilder and Harris Interactive indicates that contract workers are being hired by over 33% of U.S. companies this year.
Here in the DC metro area, associations, non-profits and businesses often use temporary PR professionals to avoid overstaffing and to test out potential hires. During the worst of the recession there were fewer assignments as all organizations were working hard to save money, but this year has seen a return to more use of temps and freelancers.