Key Takeaways

There were significant job losses during the Great Recession which began in 2008.

  • Chemical enterprise reduced many positions and saw earnings decline in the range of 24-48%.
    • Significant unemployment of chemists
    • Many experienced PhDs lost jobs
  • Workforce supply remained steady – new graduates
    • Laid off PhDs + new PhDs increased the size of the unemployed workforce
  • Companies were maintaining innovation, not developing innovation

Now, in 2021-22

  • Great Resignation
    • Job losses similar in size to 2008
    • People had a chance to figure out what they are doing
      • Workloads
      • Types of jobs
      • Degree of burnout
      • Pay
      • Satisfaction
    • Created an opportunity for people to strike out on their own
      • Younger employees twice as likely to leave
  • American Chemical Society Task Force
    • Examine what will stimulate innovation, especially innovation that will lead to new companies
    • Promoting new employment opportunities
  • There is a need to teach entrepreneurship
    • Stimulate innovation
    • Create small companies
    • Meet society’s needs
    • Provide new technologies to large companies not focused on new innovation
    • Companies and universities should partner to teach entrepreneurship as a career option.

Possible Next Steps

  • Help entrepreneurs create jobs by facilitating more affordable access to resources like information, expertise, key services, and mentorship
  • Improve the business environment for startups by increasing advocacy of relevant policies at the federal and state levels
  • Partner with academic institutions to promote awareness of career options that involve entrepreneurship
  • Publicize the challenges and success of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in the chemical enterprise
    • Work with alums to record and recognize successful entrepreneurs
    • Investigate the creation of awards to honor innovators, entrepreneurs, and those who encourage chemistry-focused innovation