Academic Job Openings for Economists Grew Again This Year

December 17, 2012

New job openings for economists increased by 2.7 percent this year over last year, according to the American Economic Association. The increase followed two years of growth that returned the annual number of new jobs to prerecession levels.

An increase in the number of academic jobs fueled this year's growth, with listings for those positions increasing by 5.7 percent, to a total of 2,059 in 2012. At the same time, the number of nonacademic jobs listed fell by 3.6 percent, to 856. Academic institutions continued to be the most-common employer, representing more than two-thirds of the employers listing job openings, according to the association, which based its tallies on its Job Openings for Economists Web page.

The number of new jobs listed for economists has greatly exceeded the number of new Ph.D.'s produced in the field in the United States over the past decade and more, the association said. In 2011, the most recent year for which data were available in both categories, 1,018 new Ph.D.'s were awarded in economics and 2,842 new jobs were listed for economists, according to the association. Annual data the association cited, going back to 2001, showed that in each year there were at least twice as many new jobs as new Ph.D.'s.

Mathematical and quantitative methods was the top field of specialization in the 2012 job listings, the association said, followed by microeconomics and then international economics.