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Careers

Doctoral Scientist Unemployment Rises

by Andrea Widener
April 28, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 17

The percentage of doctoral-level scientists and engineers who were unemployed in 2010 hit a 10-year high of 2.4%, according to a recent NSF report. Physical scientists had the highest unemployment rate of any field at 3.5%, up from 2.4% in 2008, the last time NSF’s Survey of Doctorate Recipients was conducted. The unemployment rate for doctoral degree holders was still far below that of the general population, which saw unemployment in 2010 of 8.2% for those over age 25. The report also shows that the overall number of doctoral scientists in the labor force continues to rise, going from 582,500 in 2001 to 709,700 in 2010. Nearly 18% of this 2010 labor force were physical scientists.

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