Dismal Job Market for the Dismal Science
The dismal economy has claimed yet another victim: jobs for the economists who study it. Economists are facing a grim job market. Here's why:
1. Top universities have seen their endowments shrink and government funding slashed, leaving less cash for jobs.
2. Economics-department budgets are particularly vulnerable to cuts, especially since the professors are costly compared to their counterparts in other departments. The average annual salary schools paid new economist hires was $86,292 for the 2008-09 academic year.
3. Private-sector jobs -- at investment banks and hedge funds -- are drying up, too.
Columbia University's economics department, for example, isn't making any new hires this year. That's in stark contrast to last year, when Columbia poached eight economics professors from other schools, and hired one economist out of graduate school. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Amherst College and the University of Minnesota all have suspended their searches for economics professors. And Harvard University has gotten permission to hire just one person -- only after "many rounds of negotiation," according to Harvard economist Lawrence Katz, who is handling recruiting this year. Typically, Harvard hires two or three economics professors out of graduate school.
(HT: Division of Labour)