Both Rudy Baum and the excellent Leigh Boerner at Just Another Electron Pusher have posted on the newly released 2009 ACS salary survey data. More on the trends soon, but here are my keys to this data:
- The U3-like measurement of chemist unemployment is at 3.9%, which is the highest it's been in twenty years.
- The U6-like measurement of chemist unemployment (unemployed + part-time + postdocs) is at 9.6%, which is also higher than any rate for the past ten years (the report only has numbers back until 1999.)
- Median chemist salaries fell 3.2%. That's not good, either.
- After you reach 40 years of age, the likelihood of unemployment climbs unpleasantly. For chemists aged 30-39, the "U3" rate is 2.3%. For the next age deciles, the rates are respectively 3.9, 5.0 and 4.9%. The "U6"-like rate is even uglier, with part-time employment increasing significantly (6.5%, 7.9% and 14.1%)
I'll note that my bold prediction of last year came out to be a bit pessimistic ("U3" = 5%, "U6" = 12%). I'm happy to have been wrong.
More later, after I've had a chance to digest this.