the Philosophy job market is just now beginning to change from conditions of severe shortage of jobs to ones where, in a few years, there will likely be a shortage of candidates.
At the time I asked, "where the fuck does anyone get the idea there's ever going to be a shortage of candidates?" Well, maybe this is part of the answer. This piece in the Chronicle points to a 1989 report by William G. Bowen and Julie Ann Sosa. The Chronicle's original article about the report opened with this lede:
The arts and sciences face severe faculty shortages in the future, especially in the humanities and social sciences, a new study has found.
"Severe faculty shortages"? Wow. And that's under a headline that says, "Big Faculty Shortages Seen in Humanities and Social Sciences." Apparently Bowen and Sosa's big idea was that lots of faculty were due to retire in the late '90s, leaving buckets of jobs for everybody. I guess it didn't work out that way.
Was this a common thing to think in the late '80s? It's hard for me to understand where that kind of optimism could come from.