Second year in a row, job openings for historians down

Historians in the News
tags: AHA

The number of positions advertised with the American Historical Association during academic year 2013–14 was 7 percent lower than it was in 2012–13. This is the second year in a row that the number of jobs has fallen. The 2013–14 total of 638 is still higher than the nadir of 569 jobs reached in 2009–10, but is still far from the pre-recession peak of 1,064 positions advertised in 2007–08.

This decline is especially disconcerting when we consider that the overall economy has been improving and the US jobless rate declining. It raises the possibility that this downturn in academic positions for historians is not entirely attributable to the recession, but may be with us for some time. It is especially frustrating in light of the increases we saw in 2010–11 and 2011–12 (fig. 1).

The AHA jobs report, which covers ads posted by the AHA from June 1 through May 31, has typically run in January. This has allowed time for the compilers to survey advertisers and include comparisons to the most recent Survey of Earned Doctorates. For the academic year 2013–2014, however, we are reporting on the initial data, which we gathered over the summer, in September. Additional articles will further examine this situation in light of new information. And it’s important to note that although we are reporting earlier, we are not changing the time frame that we are reporting on...

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