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Which Boston Internet and digital media companies added the most jobs in Q2?

Posted by Scott Kirsner  July 17, 2012 11:30 AM

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The executive recruiting firm Cook Associates has started to produce an interesting quarterly report on hiring at Boston-based Internet and digital media companies. And Cook Associates managing director John Barrett was nice enough to walk me through it this morning.

Barrett uses LinkedIn to examine 137 Internet and digital media companies that have 10 or more employees in Boston, and see whether they are adding jobs, cutting jobs, or staying the same. (He doesn't include employees added at other offices, and he says he verifies numbers with some of the companies on the list — but not all.) In Q2, Barrett found that his cohort of 137 companies added 400 jobs. Fifty-nine percent increased their headcount, 31 percent decreased it, and 10 percent kept it stable.

The ten Internet and digital media companies that added the most jobs in Boston were:

1. Vistaprint
2. Turbine
3. TripAdvisor
4. Google
5. Wayfair
6. Constant Contact
7. TechTarget
8. HubSpot
9. Care.com
10. Fiksu

Barrett, who works out of Cook Associates' Burlington office, tells me that since he started tracking this data at the beginning of 2012, "we saw a very sharp slow-down in hiring in Boston at the end of April and early May, among early-stage companies. That was not happening in New York." What's going on?

Barrett says there are two major generators of Internet and digital media jobs in Boston and New York: venture capital funding, and Silicon Valley companies setting up branch offices. "In the last 24 months, investment in Internet and digital media companies in Boston has been at roughly 50 percent of the dollars going into the sector in New York," says Barrett. "And New York has had a huge influx of west coast Internet companies opening offices there, like LinkedIn and Yelp." By contrast, he says, in our neighborhood, Amazon.com's Cambridge office is still fairly small, and Google's Cambridge office has grown from about 750 people to 782 in the last six months. "That's just about two percent," he says.

Over the course of 2012, Barrett predicts that employment in the Internet and digital media sector in Boston will grow about 10 percent, "which, for one of the fastest-growing segments of our economy, is pretty sluggish." Employment in New York will grow 25 to 30 percent this year, he estimates.

Barrett's top 10 list above includes the ten companies that have added the most headcount in the quarter. He also assembles a list of "up-and-coming" private companies, which have all added between six and fifteen employees in the quarter — often building on a smaller base. "These are companies that have not yet exited, and are growing very aggressively," he says. They are:

● Bluefin Labs
● Cartera Commerce
● CustomMade
● DataXu
● Hopper
● Jana
● Nanigans
● NetProspex
● nSphere
● Percipio Media
● Rue La La
● Scvngr
● SimpleTuition
● TipTap
● Visible Measures
● WordStream

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com 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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