Employment Outlook For Chemists Grim

Compiled By Tonya Vinas The unemployment rate for chemists in the United States has hit a 30-year-high of 3.3%, making for a bleak outlook for recent graduates in the field, according to the American Chemical Society (ACS). In a recent report in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), a publication of the society, ACS says that hiring is down across the board in industries that employ chemists, even at pharmaceutical companies, which have been a good source of jobs for chemists in recent years. The unemployment rate for chemists has doubled in the past year, according to ACS. "I've studied employment trends in the chemical enterprise for more than 30 years," says Madeleine Jacobs, editor-in-chief of the ACS publication. "Examining this data, I conclude that the job prospects for 2003 will look, unhappily, similar to other down years, most recently in the mid-1990s." The economic downturn and continued uncertainty are contributing to fewer hires, reports C&EN, although an increased focus on security and the national defensive against terrorism could open new opportunities.

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