recovered somewhat in the last few years, “it remains to be seen how persistent that is and how strong that recovery will be,” Platz said.

•   Employment in the chemical industry also has dropped—from more than 1,035,000 in 1990 to 985,000 in 2000 to 789,000 in 2010, according to the Council for Chemical Research.

•   Unemployment among American Chemical Society (ACS) chemists remained between 3 percent and 1 percent for the last quarter of the 20th century. But in 2002 it rose above 3 percent, and by 2010 was nearly 4 percent (Rovner 2011) (Figure 2-1). This is lower than the unemployment rate for all U.S. workers but higher than it has been since this data began to be collected.

•   Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for new chemistry graduates rose from about 4 percent in 2000 to more than 10 percent in 2009 and 2010 (Rovner 2011, ACS 2012b).

•   “Between 2000 and 2009, multinational corporations cut 2.9 million jobs in the United States and added 2.4 million jobs overseas,” according to an August 21 2011, Washington Post article citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (Yang 2011).

•   The United States shed 28 percent, or 687,000, high-technology manufacturing jobs since reaching its peak of 2.5 million in


FIGURE 2-1 The unemployment rates remain high for chemists and chemical engineers.
SOURCE: Rovner, 2011.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement