Thousands less attended the UNITY conference in Chicago last week, than in Washington, D.C. in 2004. With no exact number yet on how many people attended the convention, it was estimated at less than 6,000, compared to the more than 8,000 back in ’04 – a sign that the thousands of layoffs in the industry within the past few months had taken its toll.
The expo floor was impressive – the major media companies were there and they had great displays, but the reality was the majority of those present were recruiting… but not hiring. That was not good news for the hundreds of job-hunting, laid-off journalists walking the floor. At one point, one job seeker I spoke to said: “it’s depressing.”
It seemed like the only hopefuls were the young students, trying to snag their first job, while the pros were talking about the rumblings of more layoffs expected in the coming months.