The marketing industry has observed a significant decline in hiring activities, following a 12-month period last year that broke previous records. This is based on the latest findings from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), a trade body representing the professional recruitment sector.

Research figures, sourced from business intelligence experts, VacancySoft, highlight that there was a 41.8% decrease in the demand for marketing specialists in the first half of 2023, in comparison to the same period the previous year. By the close of 2023, an annual decrease of 35.5% is anticipated.

Diving deeper into specific sectors, the most prominent numbers of new vacancies were identified within the Professional Services and Digital realms. Despite being leading sectors, both have registered a yearly drop in new roles. The Not-For-Profit sector has demonstrated remarkable resilience concerning the demand for marketing roles. Projections indicate an increase of 12.9% in vacancies year-on-year, following an already impressive 29.2% rise in 2022. Conversely, the Tech sector is anticipated to witness a sharp decline of 57.3% in new marketing roles by the culmination of 2023.

From a geographical perspective, London stands out as a hub for marketing roles, boasting a dominant 59.5% share of all vacancies. Following behind, South East England captures 10.1% of the available positions. Regions that seem to have been least impacted by the downturn include Yorkshire & The Humber and Wales; both areas have shown only slight reductions in vacancies in comparison to the figures reported in 2022.


“We’ve seen a significant drop in marketing vacancies over the past 12 months, which is likely a result of the wider economic challenges facing businesses across the UK which has led to marketing budgets being cut. It’s important to add, though, that this fall does also reflect a return to stabilisation following the exceptionally high levels of marketing recruitment that were noted in 2022.

“London is the media and communications hub of the UK so it’s not surprising that the capital accounts for the majority of jobs in the sector, however, it is likely we will see growth in other areas in the coming years as a result of the relocation of the government’s ‘policy hub’ for civil servants to Sheffield. This may present a different challenge for many employers who are already battling skills shortages and may have to recruit from locations where there isn’t an abundance of available talent.”

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo


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