On Campus

U.S. English PhD labour market flattens

Positions in history continue to fall, while economics recovers

After plummeting for two years in a row, the number of academic openings for teaching English and foreign languages in American universities has flattened, according to numbers released this week by the Modern Language Association.

While there is little difference between 2009-10 and this year for English PhD job listings, at around 1,100, the figure remains 20.3 per cent lower than in 2008-09 and 39.8 per cent lower than the year before that. Similarly, the market for positions teaching foreign languages also remains steady this year, but total listings, at around 1020, are still 39.3 per cent lower than three years ago.

Job listings for English and foreign languages may have stopped declining, but other humanities fields continue to take a hit. Numbers released, also this week, by the American Historical Association show that job listings continue to fall. However, the American Economic Association reported that the number of listings for economists has actually begun to increase after dipping 21 per cent last year.

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