Monday, November 5, 2012

C&EN's 2012 employment issue: the numbers

I don't want to have the new numbers released from the ACS Department of Member Research and Insights from the March 2012 ACS Salary Survey to be lost in the shuffle, so here they are, pulled out of Sophie L. Rovner's article, which is worth reading in full:
  • Overall member unemployment: 4.2% 
    • Ph.D. member unemployment: 3.4%
    • B.S. member unemployment: 5.9%
  • Industrial member unemployment: 5.4%
  • Academic member unemployment: 2.2%
  • % of members unemployed at anytime during 2011: 8.2%
    • % of members unemployed at anytime during 2010: 8.4%
  • % of newly graduates unemployed in October 2011: 13.3% 
    • % of newly graduates unemployed in 2010: 10.6% 
    • % of Ph.D. graduates unemployed in October 2011: 8.8%
    • % of B.S. graduates unemployed in October 2011: 13.6%
Also, check out this chart from the article (right), which indicates the brutal reality facing new graduates in chemistry.
Credit: C&EN*

Anyone who buys into facile claims that America needs more scientists and more chemists needs to be able to explain this graph. 

Also, the larger picture for the chemical manufacturing sector:
Zeroing in on the U.S. chemical manufacturing sector, employment totaled 799,600 on a seasonally adjusted basis in September 2012, up 0.2% from the prior month and up 0.7% from September 2011, according to preliminary figures from BLS. That’s good news, but it’s little comfort to the hundreds of thousands of people who lost their jobs in prior months. At the start of the Great Recession in December 2007, employment in the sector was 857,600. Five years earlier, it was 921,500. And 10 years before that—in December 1992—chemical manufacturing employees numbered 1.03 million.
Yikes.

*[NOTE: Corrected number for 2004 for ACS members. Numbers include unemployed and seeking employment. Data for 2012 on new graduates are not yet available. SOURCES: ACS Starting Salary Survey, ACS Comprehensive Salary and Employment Status Survey.]

4 comments:

  1. One thing which is very obvious from this plot is that new graduates increasingly eschew ACS membership.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a current grad student, why would I want ACS membership? It seems rather pricey and I don't see any benefits.

      Delete
    2. I only renew my membership when my company pays for a conference and I get the fee discount for getting my membership.

      It's pretty much like that for every professional society I "belong" to.

      Delete
  2. If I have a job I am more likely to belong to the ACS. Of course their unemployment numbers are lower.

    ReplyDelete