Annual help wanted bonanza strong but showing softness p.18

By: Mark Fitzgerald Post-Labor Day recruitment sections posted ups and downs ? and signs the pace is slowing
"It's a bellwether for us that has been doing very well over the last four or five years. It always peaks after Labor Day then goes into a swoon after September"
by Mark Fitzgerald

Help wanted classifieds in last Sunday's newspapers ? a traditional post-Labor Day economic indicator ?was big, but soft around the edges, major metros report.
While some big dailies racked up records on Sunday, Sept. 13, more reported falling just shy of previous marks.
In recent years, many newspapers have begun to expect record-setting linage from the two big annual recruitment classified promotions on the Sundays after Labor Day and New Year's Day.
"It's a bellwether for us that has been doing very well over the last four or five years," said Harry Philips, recruitment ad manager for the Chicago Tribune. "It always peaks after Labor Day then goes into a swoon after September."
Probably the most-watched newspaper in this area is the Boston Globe, and its results typify the situation around the nation. The Globe ran 119 pages of recruitment ads, including 80 in color. Not bad but 25 pages down from the same Sunday in 1997, and 35 pages down from its best-ever recruitment promotion in January 1997.
"This year we experienced some of the effects of the decline in professional help and high-tech," spokesman Richard P. Gulla said. "I would hasten to add, however, that 119 pages is still pretty healthy."
Similarly, the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune ? which for weeks made complicated plans for a record 120 pages ? only landed 102 pages. That substantial result, which ran without advertorial, was down from the 112-page package last January that included three pages of advertorial.
"We attribute a lot of that to the good weather we've had," recruitment operations manager Nancy Danielson said. "People might not have concentrated on the TV and print promotions we did."
The Philadelphia Inquirer was down slightly, to 100 pages, from 102 recruitment pages last year.
The fall job recruitment push is clearly catching on across the nation. The San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle, for instance, ran its first Career Search Fall Preview Sept. 13 ? and boosted linage 30% and revenue 27% over the same Sunday in 1997, said Bart Green, San Francisco Newspaper Agency vice president for advertising.
In its second Super Job Sunday promotion, the Arizona Republic in Phoenix was up about 10% over last year with 60 pages. Increases in health-industry recruiting offset a decline in high-tech and engineering categories, said advertising director David G. Alley.
And the Chicago Tribune had what was probably its best one-day recruitment package in 20 years on Sept. 13, said Philips. Its Safari of Jobs was up more than five pages over the record set last fall, he said.
The Washington Post chalked up a whopping 145 pages, up 21 from the year before, it was reported.
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?(copyright: Editor & Publisher September 19, 1998) [Caption]


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