Chemistry falling from its perch as a secure job field

Employment prospects for chemists, particularly unemployed older people in the U.S., have dimmed in recent years. Employment surveys by the American Chemical Society show a 4.2% unemployment rate among members, up more than 2 percentage points from 2008. Under-reporting is an issue, too. "Many may have a job, which keeps them from collecting unemployment, but they're not working either in their field or in a position that comes anywhere close to matching their previous income," said consultant Lee H. Latimer.

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