Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Chemists come out worse in 2012 unemployment comparison

The latest unemployment numbers for all graduate degree holders for 2012 has been released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I've helpfully annotated the chart with comparisons to the (skepticism-inducing*) 2012 ACS member unemployment numbers and 2012  (skepticism-inducing**) BLS "chemist and material scientist" unemployment numbers.

As you can note, chemists come out worse in every single apples-to-apples comparison on all equivalent degree holders. (I'll do the salary numbers at some point soon.)

I've been trying to figure out for a while what "recovery" looks like -- so this is one of the key markers, I think. Recovery will be when our numbers are not consistently higher than "all" degree-holders.

Best wishes to all of us.

*Not all chemists are ACS members, the survey has a very low response rate, etc., etc. 
** The Current Population Survey only surveys 80,000 households -- what's the chances of a representative mix of chemists in there? 


  1. I have always wondered why employment numbers and salary surveys seem so rosy. I suspect part of the reason is that the statisticians seem to always do the equivalent of asking lottery winners what the benefits of buying a lottery ticket are, ignoring all the losers.
    Here is an example of someone who did it right and looked at the outcomes for everyone, not just those lucky few who got a winning ticket. Obviously, things aren't so rosy when looking through those glasses.
    This is also why I cringe whenever I hear someone say "They shouldn't have majored in X. Everyone who majors in Y does great."


    1. What the world really needs is more IT proffesionals, so we can share our account of giving each other on Twitter

      and Facebook, with our 400 friends.

      What chemists, a friend of mine is, are suffering from is the de-industralization of America. The out sourcing

      of everything.

      Looking for work with what little is left is not going to get the job done. What you have to do is to work for

      And, do I have job for you!

      How hard could it be to make a device about the size of the common household refrigerator, that could turn yard waste

      into liquid fuel that would run in an automobile?
      Certainly not as complex as the common automobile today and only slightly more than a washing machine
      The Fischer–Tropsch process was used by Germany in WWII to make oil from coal and wood. There are MANY new processes

      that have been developed in recent years that are more efficent than that.
      With an MPG of 50, there would be enough fuel from yard waste for the average American to drive to and from work.

      What you chemists have to do is to form a coop, invite some other unemployed proffesionals, mechanical, electrical,

      aerospace. Build these devices in a bolt together kit and sell them in places like Mother Earth News.

      Oh, you say the materials are too expensive! Think again, there are plenty of catalysts like iron and coppeer that

      worked in the 1940's and will still work now. As you should know it is just a matter of temperature, pressure, and

      raw material. All of which are abundant and cheap. Need an air compressor, use an old car engine, high volume and

      pressure. No more excuses.

      The path to American energy independence is right there to your backyard.
      So, get off your backsides waiting for a slim handout, do something for yourselves, your family and your fellow

      Americans, go work for yourselves.


  2. Sure thing boss. I'll get right on that. I'll be sure to badger the physics grads to cobble together cold fusion in their backyard while I'm at, so we can finally transition off the fossil fuels I'd need to make that viable.
    Right after I figure out the protocol for selling potentially dangerous industrial apparatuses to private consumers and get done competing with Big Oil.
    Your stupidity and condescension pisses me off. Chemistry isn't fucking magic.

    1. "Using conventional FT technology the process ranges in carbon efficiency from 25 to 50 percent[38] and a thermal efficiency of about 50%[39] for CTL facilities idealised at 60%[40] with GTL facilities at about 60%[39] efficiency idealised to 80%[40] efficiency."

      Oh what's that? You can't conjure energy from nothing and beat the laws of entropy with a car engine?


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