Friday, November 12, 2010

Scientist unemployment is procyclical, too.

from the Martin Prosperity Institute
In my journey to find more data about scientist unemployment, I came across the above graph comparing different classes of occupations between 1983 and 2008. I think it's interesting and certainly more evidence that chemist unemployment is basically pro-cyclical.

More tidbits:

- The jobless rate for all college graduates in September 2009 was 4.5%.
- The jobless rate for all male college graduates in September 2009 was 4.6% and 4.4% for women.
- The jobless rate for male college graduates older than 45 in 9/2009 was 4.5%.
- By comparison, if you're a male non-college graduate who is older than 45, your rate is 11.9%
- The overall measure of scientist unemployment by NSF was at 2.5% in 2006. Huh.
- The unemployment rate for electrical engineers in the first quarter of 2009 was 8.6% -- wow.


  1. Fascinating ... so there has to be one (several) classifications of people who have higher unemployment than the national average. Are these generally hs/college dropouts? (I know that's a totally patronizing and likely very wrong comment). But there has to be a demographic that makes up for the lower unemployment rates that you see for the specific professions you've shown.

  2. From personal experience, I can tell you that one segment very hard hit are workers without a BA / BS who work in semi-white collar jobs, i.e. middle management at chain stores, IT, phone services, admins, etc. I'm taking a shot in the dark, but I'll bet you their unemployment is higher.

    Also, this data is national, right, not regional? Tech workers tend to congregate in certain cities in certain parts of the country. Therefore, some areas must be harder hit to compensate...

  3. The NY Times has done a few graphs showing different types of unemployment. This one is from 2009 but it divides things up by education, gender and race. The highest rates are for those without a high school diploma (approaching 50% in some groups, although I don't know if they accounted for people still in school). They also did a graph of unemployment by county across the country which you can find by searching their web site.

  4. Great minds think alike, Kay - the data for the first four bullets were from that chart-applet.