By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)
Lost or overshadowed amidst recent disturbing news related to horrible accounts of terrorism, regular North Korean missile launches, climate change predictions and of course — some news-making presidential tweets– was some pretty good news.
On June 2, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released favorable numbers regarding employment: Some 138,000 jobs were created in May, and the unemployment rate remained at 4.3%. To most Americans, especially those of us who are still in the workforce (like me), this is encouraging news, a reflection of a robust and somewhat stable economy.
(Although, I trust there are doubters and detractors to last month’s positive employment statistics, those who maintain the stats are inaccurate and fail to account people who just gave up looking for a job. My perspective: If you have another way to analyze how many people are working or not working, please share.)
Now, let’s turn the clock way back to September of 2009, and the numbers project a much more sobering perspective on the national job front. That month, in the days of the Great Recession, U.S. businesses shed 263,000 jobs and the unemployment rate was 9.8%. I certainly can relate because I lost a great public relations position on September 4, 2009, a somewhat life-changing personal event that compelled me to start the PRDude blog.
Hey, you probably wouldn’t be reading this if I got to keep the management position I held for 12 years! Without question, ultimately a positive outcome for me and the wonderful people who read my words.
Now, back to the focus of this post.
Through a little more research, I learned more about the impact of public relations professionals on the U.S. employment market.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics online Occupational Outlook Handbook reports there are 240,700 public relations specialists working in the U.S. today based on 2014-24 projections. By 2024, an estimated 14,900 new PR professionals will be added.
- The median annual salary for PR professionals ranges from $83,000 to $104, 000, according to a March 2017 report published in PR Week magazine.
- There are more than 70 potential job titles within six categories for those who work in public relations, as noted a post from The Balance.
Clearly, public relations professionals are a factor in the job market and economy. But from another perspective, public relations will probably never rank up with industries like healthcare, retail, construction and accounting — industries that the government maintains are forecast to have the highest percentage of job growth.
And on a somewhat related note, those entering the profession may want to read a recent report claiming public relations ranks eight in terms of the most stressful jobs in the nation today — right above taxi drivers, but below corporate executives.
Not sure if I totally agree with the job stress stat; but I’m not about to worry and will remain steadfastly bullish on the value and need for sound, ethical public relations for many years to come.