Monday, January 14, 2013

BLS: 2012 chemist unemployment was 5.5%, down 0.6% from 2011


So there it is, folks. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (via The Wall Street Journal)  is reporting that "chemist and material scientist" unemployment is down 0.6% to 5.5% for 2012. If case anyone is interested, here's the last six years of data:

2012: 5.5%
2011: 6.1%
2010: 3.1%
2009: 4.5%
2008: 2.4%
2007: 1.3%

I don't really buy the individual number (these numbers come from the Current Population Survey, which samples ~80,000 households. The number of chemists in these households? Not high.) But the trend is believable. The ACS member unemployment number basically shows a similar pattern, with unemployment in March 2012 falling to 4.2% from March 2011's 4.6%. We still have a ways to go.

Best wishes to all of us. 

8 comments:

  1. Good gravy, when I was last seriously looking (2009) it sure felt like >4.5% of chemists were unemployed.

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  2. Obviously there is a shortage of chemical technicians. Time to increase recruitment and enrollment for chem majors!
    A glorious life awaits you as a permatemp... err I mean chemical technician.

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  3. or we are so traumatized by the last five years, it's just hard to imagine it getting better.

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  4. SAO, the key is to use ACS metrics and consider postdocs as employed. That unemployment rate will drop right through the floor!

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    1. The ACS unemployment/seeking employment rate does not include postdocs: http://cen.acs.org/content/dam/cen/90/39/09039-acsnews-tab1.jpg

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    2. I'd like to see the figures showing how many chemists have been forced into a career change.

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    3. Yes, I agree. This survey would simply ask 1) are you employed? 2) what is your current occupation?

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  5. I'm glad that the CEO unemployment rate dropped 25%. 1) Martin Mackay shouldn't have to look hard for another gig, and 2) it seems as if there must be almost nothing you can do as a CEO to become unemployable.

    Considering how low the CEO unemployment rate is, shouldn't companies be complaining about the lack of qualified CEOs? Shouldn't there be a visa plan in the works?

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