Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Charts of the week: Industrial ads and positions, September 2008 to September 2010

You may have seen a version of these charts in Susan Ainsworth's Employment Outlook article in C&EN article last week. These are my tabulated results of two years of tracking industrial ads in C&EN. I confess that I can't really find a trend, but (as I said in the article) the bottom was probably in August of 2009.

The spreadsheets are here. Enjoy!

C&EN Industrial ads (tabulated by month); all ads were counted -- duplication is possible. by Chemjobber

C&EN Industrial ads and positions (tabulated by month); all ads and positions were counted.
Duplication is possible. by Chemjobber



  1. Where'd the data for the number of jobs come from? ACS Careers?

  2. C&EN. It's my estimate of how many positions are represented in advertisements. Sometimes, it's easy (e.g. "we're seeking A chemist to perform research on pharmaceutical drugs to make zombie heads explode.)

    Sometimes, it's difficult, (e.g. ZYMOVAX, a start-up biopharmaceutical company, seeks medicinal chemists for bioterrorism defense against raptors.)

    Make sense?

  3. I guess that's what I was asking--how do you really know how many jobs are out there? Obviously, you can advertise any number of openings in one ad, but what about the # of jobs that aren't advertised at all?

  4. Although I find it amazing that they would even acknowledge the fact that chemistry as a field has employment problems, this chart is as meaningless as the rest of C&EN statistics, if I dare call it that. In this particular instance the rate-determining step is not job availability but rather the level of efficiency of whoever is in charge of the ad section.
    I think a far more interesting chart is the one that shows that unemployment rate of ACS member mirrors national trend is about 6% lower. This would be a far more interesting discussion - is chemistry somewhat sheltered from economic crises, or do they underrepresent unemployed chemists.

  5. @ 6:53

    I think they count postdocs as jobs or school. There are also chemists who gave up on the acs.

  6. Leigh: I don't. Presumably, there is some means of determining this, but looking at C&EN is one potential measure of the overall trends.


    1. Have you ever seen the "FAST CLOSE" ads in the back of C&EN? I really don't think that the BPA folks who are running C&EN's ad section are ignoring potential work and potential money to be made.

    2. I like that thought; I'll see what I can pull up. It's a good discussion to have -- thanks for that.

    Tumbler: If a company advertises a postdoctoral position, I will typically count it as an industrial job. That being said, there sure aren't a lot of those. (less than 10 a year advertised, I'm guessing.)


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