Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs (CEPA) Report to Council at National Meeting - Spring 2013

245th ACS National Meeting
New Orleans, LA
April 10, 2013

The unemployment rate for all ACS chemists is 4.2% as of March 2012. However, the unemployment rate for new chemistry graduates as measured in August 2012 is down slightly, but still three times greater at 12.6%. The Committee on Economic and Professional Affairs (CEPA) is especially distressed about the plight of new graduates, postdocs and long-term unemployed workers. CEPA continues to develop and deliver programs for these most affected groups.

Demand for workers in the U.S., including chemists, remains weak. Starting salaries are one measure of demand for new chemistry graduates. The greatest demand for graduating chemists is in product development. The areas of management and professional services are also higher than average. Traditional career paths like industrial research and academic employment show weaker demand.

The difference in median salaries for newly graduated women and men remains high at $6000, but modest gains in parity can be seen when compared with figures from 2011. Unfortunately, the lessening of this gap has more to do with falling salaries for men than from gains in women’s salaries.

On a happier note, applications are now being accepted for the ACS Entrepreneurial Training Program and the ACS Entrepreneurial Resources Center. Both programs are receiving rave reviews from program participants, and ACS members considering an entrepreneurial career are encouraged to apply through the Entrepreneurial Initiative website [www.acs.org/ei]. The application window closes on May 28th.

The Academic Professional Guidelines were brought before Council for action. The revised guidelines were approved, and will be forwarded to the ACS Board of Directors for approval during their June meeting.

Statistics for the ACS Career Fair and the Virtual Career Fair at this meeting are shown below. The number of employers on site is down slightly from Philadelphia. The addition of the virtual component granted access to more than 500 additional job seekers, and 11 additional employers. Thirty-one workshops and 252 mock interviews and 449 resume reviews, as well as 4 live webinar events were conducted at this meeting.

  Onsite ONLY Virtual ONLY Both Onsite and Virtual Total
Job Seekers 462 450 398 1,310
Employers 34 12 1 47
Positions Available 131 169   300