I've talked before about how hard it can be to explain the market to civilians. Here's a way that gets the job done. Leiter's done the math, and somewhere between a fifth and a quarter of Michigan's grads from the last decade didn't get tenure-track jobs. But Michigan's a top-10 department.
Now imagine a fifth of Yale's med school grads never got jobs as doctors. Imagine a quarter of Chicago's law school grads never got jobs as lawyers. How do you think people would talk about those job markets? How do you think med and law students outside the top-10 would think about that market? Even at good schools, say, Minnesota and North Carolina? Why, I bet those students would be losing their shit pretty much all the time, wouldn't they? I bet it'd take a couple of ounces of Ballantine's and an hour of Brian Eno every night to keep their hands from shaking and their eyes from losing focus.
But in philosophy we don't need to imagine. That's our job market for real.