"What is the unemployment rate for all ACS members and what should future ACS presidents do about this issue?"I was surprised and pleased to see that the question was put to President Shakhashiri ("from Chemjobber", no less), who actually answered the question. He said that chemist unemployment was at a 40-year high; I was pleased to hear that he was up-to-date on the issue. He was concerned about professors' ability to keep the implied promise that achieving a graduate degree would help students find a job. He lamented the loss of major research institutions like Bell Labs and the like. He stated that the ACS Strategic Plan was directed towards this issue and that ACS cares a great deal about chemical scientists and their employment opportunities.
For the most part, I dislike it when people ask these questions of politicians (e.g. "What is the price of a gallon of milk?") At the same time, the unemployment rate of members (especially at a 40-year high) is a reality that deserves to be the number 1 issue for ACS presidents for the foreseeable future.
Here's hoping that it's not the last time this question is asked.