Noteworthy

Modern Language Association Reports Improvement in Academic Job Market

AHA Staff, April 1995

For several years the Modern Language Association (MLA) has been collecting job market data from the American Sociological Association (ASA), the American Political Science Association (APSA), the College Art Association (CAA), and the AHA. According to an analysis provided by Bettina Huber, director of research at the MLA, the most recent data reported by the associations indicate that "the downturn in the academic job market has bottomed out and may be on the upturn in several fields." The MLA reports that the number of positions advertised in English and foreign languages declined again in 1993–94 for the fifth straight year but that the decline was smaller than in the previous four years.

In addition, the MLA expects an increase for 1994–95. The most recent data available from the AHA and the CAA (for 1994 and 1993–94 respectively) reveal a small upturn of 5 percent in each case after three years of decline. The strongest showing is in sociology—the ASA reports that the number of ads increased in 1993–94 for the second year in a row. Moreover, the decline in sociology was less pronounced to begin with, and the number of positions now advertised is greater than in any year since the mid-1980s. The APSA was the only organization to report a decline, with the number of ads in 1994 lower than in any year during the 1990s.