Advertising industry staff numbers reach 30-year high

LONDON - Evidence that Britain's agencies are shrugging off the effects of recession has emerged with new figures showing the industry's workforce exceeds 15,000, the highest since 1973.

A total of 15,190 staff were employed by 234 IPA member agencies on 1 September 2004, compared with 14,036 in 220 agencies at the same time the previous year.

Although IPA executives say the rise is partly because of the growth of the number of shops in IPA membership, they believe the industry is staffing up as the economic climate improves.

Another promising sign is the growing number of industry newcomers. The IPA Census estimates there are 550 first-year trainees in agencies.

However, despite an ageing UK population, almost half of agency staffers are under 30 and only 6% over 50.

People from ethnic minorities also continue to shun the business. Almost 95% of the workforce is white.

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