The overall increase in salary level, reported on the left side of survey report table 1 and the upper half of table A, was 1.4 percent between 2009–10 and 2010–11. This is barely higher than the overall change reported last year, when we described it as “the lowest year-to-year change recorded in the fifty years of this comprehensive survey.”.........
In all, graduate student employees and faculty members serving in contingent appointments now make up more than 75 percent of the total instructional staff. The most rapid growth has been among part-time faculty members, whose numbers swelled by more than 280 percent between 1975 and 2009. Between 2007 and 2009, the numbers of full-time non-tenure-track faculty members and part-time faculty members each grew at least 6 percent. During the same period, tenured positions grew by only 2.4 percent and tenure-track appointments increased by a minuscule 0.3 percent. These increases in the number of faculty appointments have taken place against the background of an overall 12 percent increase in higher education enrollment in just those two years.
The system of higher education staffing is seriously broken. Do not misunderstand: grad school is no longer a wise investment leading to a stable academic career.
If you start down this path, adjuncthood or VAPing (or leaving altogether) likely awaits. This is reality.
Do not close your eyes and plug your ears and try to pretend it's not happening. Just take a deep breath and start considering your options. You will be okay as long as you think clearly and plan ahead for all possibilities.