Friday, September 11, 2015

Job Market Opening Day 2015

How many full-time tenure-track or open-rank jobs in German Studies will be posted to the MLA Job Information List in 2015-16? Take your pick. Seeing how 2014 went, your pick is probably as good as mine.

18. The historical average since 2003 is that 54.4% of all TT jobs show up on opening day. As of today, there are 10 such jobs. 10 / .544 = just over 18.

24. Ten jobs isn't the absolute worst we've ever seen on opening day, but it's close. Other similar years include 2009 (10), 2010 (11), and 2014 (9). The average result from those years is 24 jobs by the time the list closes.

25. The percentage posted on opening day has been declining. If the trend since 2008 (see graph) continues, we're only seeing 40.6% of the jobs today. 10 / .406 = almost 25.

Percentage of TT jobs posted on opening day, 2008-2014, showing declining trend
30. Going back to 2008, there have been on average around 30 jobs each year. The last two years saw 28 and 29 jobs, respectively. If this is an average year, then we'll get around 30 jobs by the end, maybe a few less.

32. Last year, only 31% of the jobs showed up on opening day. If the same thing happens this year, we'll get up to 32 jobs.

My pick: 25. We'll see a reversion to the mean, and 15 more jobs will appear before the list closes, most likely before the end of February. With a bit of optimism and wishful thinking, 2015 will end up in a tie for the second-worst year in German job market history. I would love to be wrong and to see many more jobs appear, but even an outlandish fantasy like 35 jobs would only move this year into sixth-worst in job market history.

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