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    Decline in churn, drop in vacancies and industry growth: MFA industry census reveals health of the Australia’s media agencies

    The annual MFA industry census has revealed the media agency industry has successfully reduced industry churn as the number of professionals employed in agencies continues to grow.

    The census, which was released today, showed that the industry from September 2023, staff numbers in media agencies are up 2% year-on-year, with MFA agency members employing 4,778 people, compared to 4,685 people in 2022 and 4,412 people in 2021.

    A reduction in staff turnover saw loss drop to 26.0% (versus 32.6% the year prior), while the number of people leaving the industry dropped to 13.1% from 17.3% a year ago.

    This brings media agencies significantly closer to the MFA’s goal of reducing the number of people leaving the industry each year to 11% by 2025, as part of re-building pride in the industry through the launch in 2022 of the industry purpose We Are The Changers.

    Vacancy rates in agencies have dropped to 7.2% (versus 8.5% the year prior) but remain higher than the normal level of circa 6% vacancy.


    The MFA said that if all vacant roles in media agencies were filled, the industry population would reach 5,120 people. The industry body noted that the most in-demand roles continue to be in implementation, client service and performance.

    While Sydney remains the biggest market by far, with 56% of all roles, Brisbane’s share of the population grew 10% to 8.1% of all roles, the census revealed. It also noted Melbourne’s population recorded a more modest increase, to now represent 28.3% (versus 27.0% the year prior).

    The proportion of women leaders has risen to 47% of all management roles held by women (up from 46%). On the equal pay front, the MFA census shows that women are paid 3% less than men in the same roles, a reflection of the higher concentration of men in some specialist functions and in-demand roles.

    Additional data collected from a DE&I survey in partnership with Mediai also found that 29.58% of media agency employees speak a language other than English at home, while 5.68% are living with a diagnosed disability or special need.

    Culturally, 52% identify as Australian, with European and Asian backgrounds being the second and third most common, and 9.4% of industry employees belong to the LGBTQ+ community.

    Agency employee tenure has improved slightly, with employees staying with their employers for an average of 2.8 years (up from 2.5 years).

    Other noteworthy employee profile statistics:

    62% of employees are female (unchanged from 2022)
    On average 7 years old (32.1 years in 2022)
    8 years’ industry experience (7.0 years in 2022)


    Linda Wong, director people at the MFA, said the key metrics of the MFA census show signs of continued improvement. 

    “Over the past five years, we’ve seen a 25% growth in population, which is a remarkable result against the backdrop of economic uncertainty, offshoring and the rise of AI affecting all industries. Also worth mentioning is a notable increase in Analytics and Creative Services roles, showcasing the industry’s adaptability to evolving client needs,” Wong added.

    MFA CEO Sophie Madden said the MFA census provides proof that agency and industry initiatives are having the desired effect of instilling pride in the industry’s people, tackling vacancy rates, and reducing churn.

    “Notably, the growing number of ‘boomerang’ recruits – individuals returning to the industry – reflects a promising trend. I believe we’re on the right path for more positive change ahead.”

    The post Decline in churn, drop in vacancies and industry growth: MFA industry census reveals health of the Australia’s media agencies appeared first on Mediaweek.

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