This morning, I posted the results of a poll I ran at the Search Engine Roundtable asking SEMs if they are currently employed. We received just about 400 responses, and from those responses we learned there is a 7% unemployment rate in the search marketing industry. The poll was far from a valid study, such as a census data report, but it did poll many from the industry and might be a good metric to use.
The current US unemployment rate, according to the March 2009 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data is about 9%. The search marketing industry is 2 points below that rate according to my small poll. What I found most interesting is that 25% of the respondents said they were self-employed while 65% said they worked for a company.
Again, this poll is far from having US backed data from the labor department, but it may be a good indication of the search marketing industry is weathering the recession.