I did a little digging after my last post. Went to the US Office of Personal Management website and used FedScope to look up the number of archaeologists employed by the federal government since 1998. Here are the results:
Highlights: 32% increase in permanent archaeologists’ positions between 1998-2011 (823 to 1087); average increase of 20 positions a year (2% annual increase)
There numbers just deal with those hired as archaeologists (government code 0193). There are other position titles such as Anthropology General that could include archaeology positions. So these numbers do not capture every archaeologists but probably the majority. The numbers are from Sept. of each year, to be consistent, except 2011 which is from June because the Sept. numbers have not been released.
For all the doom and gloom about archaeology jobs it is nice to see that numbers are going up. However, these are only rough numbers and do not take into account such things as the amount of work being undertaken, new responsibility, etc. It could be that relative to work not enough archaeologists are being hired. Still, it is good to see that employment options are increasing. If only the 32% increase over the last 13 years had started on a higher baseline, at lets say 5,000 employees, we would have many more jobs. Again, good news is better then bad news.