The long hard road to recovery.
FALTERING ECONOMY PUTS SQUEEZE ON AGENCIES
New evidence of the reality of the Britain’s faltering economic recovery emerged today, in a survey which shows that digital and design agencies are increasingly being asked to work for free.
The Design Industry Voices survey is now in its third year and shows how small firms have suffered following the financial crisis, during the recession and the long, slow recovery.
The new survey - of almost 500 agency staff - paints a picture of the squeeze being experienced by small firms in the private sector as public sector budget cuts begin to bite and economic confidence fails to recover.
- More than eight out of ten (85%) say that clients expect more work for less money
- More than seven out of ten (71%) say clients expect more work in pitches for free
- More than eight out of ten (82%) say client budgets have been reduced
- More than half say agencies are employing fewer permanent staff (58%), using more freelancers (55%) and more than two fifths are using more unpaid interns (43%).
The latest UK unemployment figures show that employment growth in the private sector is being far out stripped by job losses in the public sector. Private sector jobs have only risen by 5,000 but public sector jobs lost for the same period are 67,000. Overall, UK unemployment is at its highest level since 1994, at 2.64 million.
Design Industry Voices also shows that agencies are experiencing more staff turnover than ever, since the recession began in 2008:
- More than half (58%) of staff intend to change job in the next twelve months
- More than a third (35%) have been with their agency less than a year.
People working in digital and design agencies say they are feeling the brunt of the long, slow recovery. Fewer than one in five respondents consider that their agency is performing ‘very well’ in respect of ‘helps employees to manage stress’ (12%), ‘rewards people for going the extra mile’ (15%) and provides ‘appropriate workload for staffing levels’ (15%).