The data has a number of variables of interest: hiring school, kind of job (academic or not), date the ad was posted, date apps are due, level of job (postdoc, junior, etc) and contract type (TT, fixed-term, etc), among others. With these data, we can ask some interesting questions. Here's what we're looking at today.
1. how many jobs were there?
2. where were the jobs? like literally, where in the world were the jobs?
I filtered the data for three kinds of job: junior faculty, postdoc and open rank hires. (FWIW filtering for "junior" doesn't discriminate between TT and fixed-term. We'll have a chance to separate out TT and fixed-term later.) We might look at admin jobs or senior hires, but I'm not terribly concerned about those groups, tbh. When reflecting on how terrible the job market is for philosophers, the usual victim is a newly-minted (or newishly-minted) PhD looking for steady employment.
And as far as the boundaries of the hiring cycle, I used August 1 to July 31 to define 'hiring cycle'. As we'll see, jobs are posted year-round, but these bounds feel natural for identifying the beginning and the end of a cycle.
But before we completely leave the non-junior jobs behind, let's look quickly at the number of jobs posted last year in each category.
Now, let's look at where the jobs are. I used the ggmap package. Word to the wise: this package is awesome, but make sure you (i) get your google apps key and (ii) enable the static maps API. (Details are in the documentation for ggmap.) It took me forever to figure out that I didn't tell Google that I wanted to use the static maps.
Anywho, we'll start with postdocs, junior faculty, and open rank and then focus on junior positions.
Now let's look at junior faculty jobs, and we'll color the dots by contract type.
What's the takeaway? There's a big divide in the density of job openings east and west of the Mississippi River. Once you move west of those states whose eastern borders are the Mississippi, jobs are a lot scarcer. Beyond that, there are higher concentrations of jobs in (1) California and (2) the northeast (NJ, NY, CT, MA...and also some bordering states like PA, VA, and MD). If you get your PhD on the east coast or CA, you have a decent chance of staying there.
So I says to myself I says, "I wonder how this compares with median household income per county..." Here's the map: