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New report sees hiring slowdown in Q3 at Boston's Internet and digital media companies

Posted by Scott Kirsner  October 15, 2012 07:48 AM

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John Barrett of the executive search firm Cook Associates scours LinkedIn every quarter to understand the hiring trends at Internet and digital media companies in Boston and New York. (I posted about his Q2 report back in July.)

The news wasn't good in the third quarter: only 260 net new jobs were created among the 152 companies he tracks. That's just a 1.9 percent increase over where things were at the start of the quarter. Growth was stronger in Q1 and Q2: 8 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively (see graph below). "This is not a sign of a healthy, growing sector, and it's a result of VC investing being soft in Boston," Barrett writes via e-mail.

By contrast, job growth in New York was 3.2 percent in the third quarter, down from 5.6 percent in Q2. According to Barrett, more of Boston's new jobs are being created by public companies (roughly 75 percent) than is the case in New York (about 55 percent). Barrett's index includes only companies with 10 or more employees, and he follows more than twice as many companies in New York (320) as he does in Boston.

The top 10 companies that saw the largest headcount gains in Boston for Q3 are:

1. Hubspot
2. Wayfair
3. Amazon
4. TripAdvisor
5. Vistaprint
6. Rue La La
7. Google
8. Constant Contact
9. Karmaloop
10. Jumptap

New on that list for Q3 are Amazon, Rue La La, Karmaloop & Jumptap.

And here are 10 more up-and-coming companies that saw significant growth in Q3 (Barrett defines "up-and-coming" as younger venture-backed businesses):

● Visible Measures
● DataXu
● Nanigans
● Gemvara
● NetProspex
● WordStream
● Fiksu
● ClickFuel
● QuantiaMD
● Abine
● Moontoast

Here's Barrett's explainer about which companies are and aren't included in his index:

"Cook surveyed only pure-play Internet and digital media companies. Based on its research, the company believes that the businesses surveyed represent more than 90 percent of the Internet and digital media employees in New York and Boston. Virtually all companies in the survey are currently or were previously financed by venture capital investors. Major digital sub-sectors covered include media/content, social networking, advertising, mobile media/commerce, e-commerce, video, local, analytics and marketing software. Excluded from the survey were digital-focused employees of 'traditional' companies and digital ad agencies."

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Innovation and technology news that matters, on a new website from the Boston Globe, featuring Scott Kirsner and other original reporting.

About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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