After Justin at Daily Nous kindly shared this blog post, he received a number of replies on the social media that folks weren't posting their placements on PhilJobs. He asked if I could rerun the numbers after the post, which I was happy to do. Here are the new numbers:
I was really hoping for a dramatic change, but the number of TT placements went up to 41 (from 30) and fellowships up to 10 (from 7). I suppose a 33% increase is pretty substantial, but when compared to historical trends of posting...
...it's still not awesome.
Some folks argue that not everyone posts their placements on PhilJobs or has a profile on PhilPeople; therefore, we can't put a lot of stock in these numbers. In reply, the way in which we interpret the numbers needs a little nuance. Did only 41 people get TT jobs this year? Maybe. Carolyn Dicey Jennings and her team might be able to answer that in a year or so. It's possible that there are a bunch of job searches that didn't work out.
But what the data do tell is a broader trend about jobs in philosophy. The number of people getting jobs, I think, is declining. What I can't square with this is the number of job postings:
The vertical line is the average for all years except the most recent one. Fixed term = 66.7; TT = 134.1. And the boundary of August to April is to make sure we're comparing apples to apples for when this is posted. This year we have a serious dip in TT jobs. But notice the decline for the last 4-ish years in fixed term jobs. So my suspicion is that part of the fewer job placements is because of fewer fixed-term positions. It's hard to find long-term trends right now since Jobs for Philosophers officially moved over to PhilJobs in 2013.
Another hypothesis for why placement posting numbers are low: survivor's guilt. Folks who get jobs are less inclined to post about their placement because they don't see a reason for why they got the job and not one of their colleagues. The large number of people not getting jobs puts pressure on job-winners not to share that they've gotten a job.
Anyway, thanks to Justin for the invitation to look at the numbers again. If you haven't posted your placement to PhilJobs, please consider doing so. The more up-to-date info we can get on the job market, the better off we'll all be.