Investments in new chemical plants to take advantage of North American shale deposits are expected to bolster chemical engineering jobs in coming years while jobs in the pharmaceutical sector continue to decline as patents on major drugs expire. "One can't ignore the fact that there is still quite a lot of pain out there," said Paul Hodges, chairman of International eChem. "But there is a new dimension coming forward, which hopefully, over the next two or three years, will start to balance that out."

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