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. 


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

  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.

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

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

    1. The ACS unemployment/seeking employment rate does not include postdocs:

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

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

  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?


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20