Employment situation worsens for US chemistry graduates


Last year’s chemistry graduates in the US faced a tough jobs market, with unemployment rising and starting salaries unchanged since 2012, according to figures from the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) latest graduate survey.

The overall median starting salary for graduates finding full time jobs in 2013 remained static at $41,600 (£24,900), while unemployment rose from 12.6% to 14.9%. The jobless rate among recent graduates remains considerably higher than the figure for all chemists, which was reported as 3.5% in 2013, according to the ACS salary survey.

The salary situation varies between different degree classes, and both bachelor’s and PhD graduates’ starting salaries dropped. For those with a bachelor’s degree the 2013 median salary was $39,560, down from $40,000 in 2012, while for PhDs it was down to $75,750 from $80,000. But master’s graduates fared better, with an almost 15% increase from $48,000 to $55,000. The difference between average male ($44,000) and female ($40,000) starting salaries also fell by $2000, the second consecutive year-on-year drop. This suggests, perhaps, a gradual narrowing of the gender pay gap.

The figures come from a survey of ACS members, which gathered 2035 responses from recent graduates. As this isn’t a random sample, the numbers are not necessarily representative of the chemistry graduate population at large.


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