Jul 01, 2015

2015 Labor Market Report

Since 1995, a survey has gone out to marketing department chairs to inquire about hiring plans for the upcoming market cycle. Numbers get crunched and packaged up as the annual Labor Market Report (LMR). Truly, this is one of the more impressive traditions in academia. Along with the annual Who Went Where Report prepared by DocSig, we have really fantastic information on hiring practices. In part, these reports inspired the creation of Marketing Phd Jobs. After a five-year stint running the Labor Market Survey (2009 to 2013), Chris Janiszewski and Geeta Menon retired as survey administrators and asked if Cesar and I would take over. We were, of course, thrilled to do so. However, with the transition, I did not get around to writing a post covering the LMR (as I had in 2012 and 2013). So, after missing a year, I'm happy to be returning to an LMR write up.

The full 2015 LMR is available here: bit.ly/2015LMR
The quick and dirty synopsis is that it's a pretty good year to be a candidate.


On to the write up!

For those unfamiliar with the LMR, each spring, a survey goes out to department chairs to inquire about the expected number of candidates and the expected number of openings for the upcoming market cycle. The survey also includes questions on salaries, course loads, number of preps, and the types of positions schools are targeting. Overall the report provides a nice sketch of what the market will look like. However, there are a few important things to keep in mind as you peruse tables.

(1) There are nearly 800 AACSB/AMBA/EQUIS accredited business schools worldwide and 1500 schools in the Marketing Phd Jobs database. This year 95 schools responded to the survey, which means another 1400 or so schools could also announce jobs.

(2) On the supply side, the number of rookie candidates in marketing should be fairly accurate (N=119). Department chairs at schools with Phd programs are typically good about responding with info on candidates expected to be in the market. However, there are also postdocs and rookies from allied fields that will enter the market. Additionally there will be advanced assistant candidates from schools not included in the survey. So, the total number of people in the market is larger than the number reported in the LMR.

(3) On the demand side, number and type of positions should be viewed as guidance rather than gospel. Funding for some positions may be uncertain (and schools generally err on the side of caution when responding to the Labor Market Survey). Desire for a Quant candidate might be a weak preference at some schools and a mandate at others. And, of course, schools may be considering senior level candidates in addition to rookies and/or advanced assistants.


2015 LMR by the Numbers

Schools Surveyed: 140
Responses Received: 95
Number of Rookie Candidates: 119
Number of Positions: 57 (at 44 schools)
LMR Ratio: 2.09 candidates per position


Breaking it Down

The LMR ratio this year is 2.09 candidates per position, which is virtually indistinguishable from the historic average of 2.08 candidates per position. However, the response rate this year is slightly lower than in the past. Just under 70% of schools responded (67.8% to be exact) this year, and in the past, the response rate has ranged from 75% to 84%. The ratio controls for differences in response rates in some respects, but if we assume department chairs at schools with phd programs are more likely to respond than department chairs at schools without phd programs, a lower response rate is more likely to inflate the the LMR ratio than it is to suppress it. That is, we can reasonably expect the LMR underestimates the number of positions to a greater degree than the number of candidates. The upshot is that 57 expected positions for 2016 based on 95 responses to the labor market survey suggests a stronger market than the 57 positions expected for 2013 when 106 institutions responded to the survey. Additionally, it's worth noting that the demand side numbers in the LMR corresponds most directly to research-oriented institutions. Nearly every school included in the survey offers a 2/2 or better teaching load. This bodes well for rookies seeking research-oriented positions. Additionally, it appears the post-AMA market has been increasingly active the past several market cycles. As a result, it's not clear how well the LMR ratio tracks the complete market cycle. Here's how the LMR has lined up with MPJ.


2011-12     427     188     63     2.13
2012-13     460     186     57     2.35
2013-14     486     195     94     1.60
2014-15     545     208     80     1.86
2015-16     TBD     158*     57     2.09

*as of 7/1


Since I began tracking job posts, each market cycle year has seen an increase in the total number of positions announced, and additionally, the number of positions announced prior to AMA has trended up, despite fluctuations in both the number of positions expected in the LMR the ratio of candidates to positions. This isn't to say the LMR ratio is unreliable, rather, it's best viewed as bellwether. Overall, the rookie market looks to be slightly less crowded than the past few market cycles. If this holds, we may see an increase the average number of AMA interviews. We'll find out next August when the 2016 Who Went Where results are out.

As always, send thoughts and comments to ethan.pew@stonybrook.edu.