Unemployment Rate for U.S. ACS Members

ccording to a survey conducted by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and published in the latest C&E strong Neodymium magnets s, the unemployment rate for U.S. ACS members* dropped to 3.1 percent this year from a record high of 3.6 percent in 2004. Median salaries for bachelor’s level chemists are up from $61,000 to $64,000, or 4.9 percent; for master’s graduates salaries have increased from $71,000 to $75,000, or 5.6 percent; and for Ph.D. chemists the increase is 4.2%, from $90,000 to $93,800. The increase for all chemists was from a median of $82,000 samarium cobalt magnets year to $83,000 this year.

The survey shows that men still out-earn women in chemistry by a considerable margin. The median salary for men is $88,000; for women, it’s $68,0000. This differential mainly reflects a difference of seniority and degree level; male chemists are, on average, about 7 years older than female chemists and are much more likely to hold a Ph.D. When this difference of seniority, degree level, and professional experience are corrected for, salaries for men and women are roughly equal, the survey found.

The survey also notes that, in a dramatic shift over the samarium cobalt magnets two decades, the majority of chemists are now employed in biology-related jobs.

Note: Initially I had written “the unemployment rate for U.S. chemists.” Bob Bartolo, a member of the Statistical Research Committee (SRC) of the American Institute of Physics, wrote to me to point out my error, and to make several other good points about the interpretation of the data.

– posted by Jim

Permalink | Comments Tags: Chemistry, Employment, Salaries

1 AUGUST 2005
Dual-Career Disaster

Now here’s a scenario we’ve failed to consider in magnets for sale extensive coverage of the dual-career-couple phenomenon: the dual-career divorce.

Writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Career Network, a pseudonymous university prof asks, “Shouldn’t there be Neodymium bar magnets kind of clause that if the trailing spouse dumps you before the probationary period is over, he gets cut loose? He’s had to be removed from my health insurance, dental plans, and retirement benefits. Honestly, shouldn’t he also be off my hiring package?”

A very entertaining read, in a sad sort of way.

Let’s Do More Science

Another day, another report seeking an expansion of the U.S. scientific workforce. This time the report is from the Business Roundtable, a group of corporate chief executives, and 14 other business groups. “To maintain magnets for sale country’s competitiveness in the 21st century,” write the report’s authors, “we must cultivate the skilled scientists and engineers needed to create tomorrow’s innovations.”

The Problem
At the root of the problem, they argue, is increasing international competition in science and technology fields. “The United States is in a fierce contest with other nations to remain the world’s scientific leader,” states the report’s executive summary, titled “To Leaders Who Care About America’s Future.” ” Magnetic toys other countries are demonstrating a greater commitment to building their brainpower.”

They make their case with Neodymium bar magnets compelling statistics: if present trends continue, they say, by 2010 90% of all scientists and engineers will be living in Asia. South Korea, they maintain, graduates just as many engineers as the United States, despite having Neodymium one sixth magnets for sale population. They also mention increased U.S. reliance on foreign talent and the security concerns that have begun limit the availability of foreign scientists as sources of American economic vulnerability.
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To address the problem, they call for an agressive response: ” magnets for sale organizations feel strongly that the United States must respond to this challenge as energetically as we did to the Soviet Union’s launching of Sputnik in the 1950s.” Their goal is ambitious: “We must double today’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics graduates with bachelor’s degrees by 2015.”

They propose five action points:
1. Build public support for an aggressive national science and technology policy agenda.
2. Provide incentives for students to study science and engineering.
3. “Upgrade” science and technology teaching in K-12 by utilizing “differentiated pay scales for mathematics and science teachers.”
4. Reform visa and immigration practices to assure that the best foreign scientists continue to flow into the U.S.
5. Boost public support for research, especially in the physical sciences and engineering.

magnets for sale Critique
The focus on increasing the number of graduates at the bachelor’s level is welcome; this is indeed the level at which workforce expansion is likely to have the largest positive impact. The authors identify a serious national crisis and suggest an appropriately aggressive response.

Where they get it wrong, in my view, is in the ordering of priorities: they put the cart before the horse. An expansion of the domestic scientific workforce at the bachelor’s degree level and a general improvement in technical and scientific education are very good ideas. Magnetic toys the best way to expand the scientific workforce is to exapnd employment opportunities for scientists. And the best way to do that is to increase public funding for science and to put in place policies to stimulate science and technology research in the private sector. The result would be increased (economic) demand for scientists and engineers and consequently better salaries and working conditions, which will attract more students to science and technology. Putting workforce expansion ahead of stimulating research is self-defeating; expanding the workforce first will suppress salaries and make scientific careers less desirable.

America should invest in research first and Magnet toys expand the scientific workforce. If we commit magnets for sale country to doing more science, we’ll produce the scientists we need.

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