American chemistry job market is grim

But employed chemists enjoying strong salary increases
||Last Updated: 01/18/2006

Chemistry graduates looking for full-time jobs this year are going to have a hard time, according to the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Industrial and academic leaders told the society’s newsmagazine, the

Chemical & Engineering News

, that hiring levels will be about the same as last year or slightly lower, following a five-year-long downward trend.

This year is projected to be worse because of the sharp rise in the price of petroleum products due to the hurricanes that ravaged oil refineries in the Gulf Coast area. This caused feedstock, material and transportation costs to skyrocket.

However, it’s still early in the hiring season and the forecast could turn around if the industry recovers faster than expected. Already some companies have reported plans to increase hiring and universities and colleges are recruiting for academic positions.

The median salaries for new graduates in 2004 were on par with the previous year, while employed chemists saw a median gain in salaries of five per cent from $80,000 in March 2004 to $84,000 in March 2005.

Once in the workforce, chemists enjoy a lower than average unemployment rate at 3.1 per cent compared to the national figure of 5.1 per cent.


Chemical & Engineering News

looked at the annual ACS Salary Survey, the ACS New Graduate Survey, job placement efforts, employer demand for adding employees and unemployment trends.

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