You know how people say that the various social science job markets aren't as bad as the humanities markets? And that the market might even be "rebounding" after a few down years?
I was emailing with a friend who's still a grad student in my old department at Grad U this afternoon. Zie informed me of the following:
(1) Of the ten students on the market this year from our top-ten social science department, only two got tenure-track jobs. (Another got an instructor position as a spousal hire). Two other people have already been working on temporary contracts, but failed to get a tenure-track job this year despite applying widely. So 70% of the people on the market this year will be back on it next year ... along with all of the new first-timers.
I've been around Grad U Department for nine years, and in those nine years I have known exactly three people who didn't get a job on their first run at the academic job market - and perhaps five or six more who took very undesirable temporary jobs as a desperation move. But never, ever have I seen a year where more than one student was unemployed this late in April. This year ... seven.
And for the record, all of these people have impressive CVs with good publications and teaching experience. These are not academic slouches taking a "test run" at the market.
(2) According to my friend, the department is now giving the advanced students a hard time about funding for next year. Our department has always been very good about funding its advanced students, especially if they were willing to teach and/or were on their job market year. This is apparently no longer the case. These students who didn't get jobs this year are also being told by the department that they will likely not be funded by Grad U any longer.
(3) Just today, the department sent out its excited, self-congratulatory email, announcing the names of the full, normal-sized cohort of first-year students they have admitted for the 2012-13 school year.
Does anyone else see anything wrong with this picture?????