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Working in a Landscape of Recession and Expansion: Academic ‘Jobs in Geography’ in the United States, 1990–2011

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rachel FranklinORCiD


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The recent economic recession brought much university hiring to a standstill in the United States. Geography, in spite of strong prerecession growth, was no exception. Without a sense of how the academic geography job market has changed over the past decades, however, it is difficult to assess any recession-related decline or the relative strength of any recovery. This article presents an analysis of academic job postings in the field of geography from 1990 through 2011. Using data aggregated from the AAG Newsletter, which acts as an informal clearinghouse for most academic openings for geographers at four-year colleges and universities in the United States, we assess changes in the overall magnitude in numbers of academic job openings, with the particular goal of placing the recession-based paucity of openings within its broader historical context. Our results indicate that, indeed, the recession led to a very sharp decline in advertisements, but compared to previous recessions, the recovery appears to have occurred very quickly. Open-rank and temporary/non-tenure-track positions appear to have been fairly robust to the poor economic conditions, whereas assistant professor openings were particularly hard hit.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Franklin RS, Ketchum J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: The Professional Geographer

Year: 2013

Volume: 65

Issue: 2

Pages: 205-220

Print publication date: 01/03/2013

Online publication date: 19/03/2012

ISSN (print): 0033-0124

ISSN (electronic): 1467-9272

Publisher: Taylor and Francis


DOI: 10.1080/00330124.2012.660455


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