But it reminded me of something that I've heard is going on: grad students delaying their graduation because of their difficulty in finding employment (other than a postdoc). I'm going to guess (hope?) that there's not a ton of evidence outside of anecdote that this is happening, but let's address it with the assumption that it is.
The chemistry job market (especially for entry-level positions) is structured such that you're basically competing against the people who entered graduate school at the same time that you did. If lots of students from the same cohort delayed graduation, you'd still be competing against the same people plus the people in the year behind you. Adding to the numbers of your competitors doesn't seem like a good idea to me.
I'm not a game theorist, but this is basically a version of the Prisoner's Dilemma (ironic, no?):
You have two graduate students. If they both decide to look for a position now, they will be competing against each other. If they both decide to delay graduation, they will still be competing against each other. Should they (and if so, how?) cooperate to find an optimal solution?Unfortunately, I suspect that problems like this is why the postdoc market is also kinda full right now. Sorry I don't have much better news than that.
*Note to J-bone: a run-stuffing interior lineman is always helpful.