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I believe it is important that the wording of S-32, especially in Section
204, take cognizance of the fact that formal retraining in other than on-the-job situations is not likely to be particularly beneficial unless until national priorities have been established among the many problem areas which will indica te firmly the directions such retraining should take.
The provisions of the new Cities Research and Experimentation Act of 1971
are an example of the setting of such a priority. I believe that the reason we have
not had such priorities set since the phasing down of the space program
least in part to our inability to choose among a number of badly needed efforts when
our national resources obviously are insufficient to tackle them all at once.
one must assume the leadership in this effort, even at the risk of choosing the
wrong project first.
I cannot emphasize too strongly that if both the nation as a whole and the individuals that make up that nation are to be as productive as they are capable of
being, it is vital that we do set and announce the order in which we will concentrate
on nationally needed projects. Young men and women, their parents, and the educational
institutions through which they pass need to know, at least in general terms, the
kinds of occupational needs and opportunities that will exist when they emerge from
the educational pipeline. For scientists and engineers, whose skills are so intimately intertwined with national programs, and for whom the educational pipeline
is so long, this planning information is essential if we are not to continue
indefinitely to train our highly talented young men and women to solve problems we
may not have decided to attack.
I commend the effort to take the lead in setting priorities which your new
cities provision represents. New cities may not be the most urgent of our problems I am not qualified to judge. But we must have a start somewhere, and we must give
directional guidance to those who are ready to be trained or retrained and to those
charged with training them.
I also commend the loan provisions of S-1261. As you and others already have pointed out so effectively, today's unemployed scientists and engineers are highly qualified people fully capable of repaying temporary loans which would allow them to maintain their responsibilities while they are seeking for or are in training for new jobs. Although we have now and may have at times in the future temporary surpluses of specialists trained in particular disciplines, we do not now have nor will we ever have a surplus of highly talented people. It is fully in the national interest that we help this small segment of that talent bank
while they find a new place to put their skills to work productively.
While the estimates I have used this morning to outline the magnitude of
the unemployment problem are extremely rough, there are specialized studies that give very precise information on the characteristics of particular segments of this unemployed group. Any activities geared toward making maximum use of the talent available should begin with a thorough understanding of these specialized studies. One of the most useful is that recently made by the Battelle Memorial Institute for
NASA in which 5,000 of a group of 25,000 workers squeezed out in aerospace cutbacks SOME ROUGH ESTIMATES OF UNEMPLOYMENT AMONG SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS
have been followed and analyzed.
There are other studies that show fine detail on other segments of the
group of unemployed technological professionals. Some of them consider the current picture, some are historical, and some are predictive. All are useful in assessing the problem, but studies by themselves are not solutions. That is why many of us Welcome the action approach that is represented in the bills you are now considering.
13,000 experienced scientists (2.6% of 500,000)
25,500 experienced engineers (3.4% of 750,000)
1,300 bachelor's (11.6% of 1971 bachelor's degrees granted)
200 master's (8.8% of 1971 master's granted)
150 Ph.D.'s (6.1% of 1971 Ph.D.'s granted)
15,000 bachelor's (11.6% of 1971 degrees estimated by U.S.O.E.)
500 Ph.D.'s (6.1% of 1971 degrees estimated by U.S.O.E.)
'An NSF Survey shows 2.6% unemployment in a sample population of 300,000 scientists in the 1970 National Register of Scientific and Technical Personnel. Since
2 Register questionnaires were sent to 555,000 scientists for the 1968 Register? conservative base of 500,000 scientists was used to estimate total number of
Engineers - experienced
An NSF Surveys estimates 3.4% unemployment. The Engineering Manpower Commission estimates there were 700,000 people doing engineering work at the college graduate level in the U.S. in 19664. A conservative 50,000 was added to this number
to account for growth between 1966 and 1971.
Job placement of new engineering graduates was surveyed by the EMC in June of 19715. Their report on 23,193 new baccalaureates found 1,791 with no employment offers and no other plans. An additional 102 new master's and 50 new doctorate holders had neither offers nor plans. Those who have since found employment are assumed to approximately balance the number not counted by this incomplete survey.
The American Chemical Society survey of new chemical sciences graduates 6 at the end of summer, 1971 found unemployment rates of 11.6%, 8.8% and 6.1% at the three degree levels. Applying these rates to the number of gradua tes' yields the
total figure of 1,650.
No similar and recent studies were found in the other areas of science.
Generally, it is known that the physics community has experienced greater unemployment than the chemists
; and that most other science groups have experienced
less difficulty. Since the employment rate for experienced chemists is fairly typical of the sciences as a whole, and having no other criteria with which to make estimates, the unemployment rates for new chemists were applied to the degree estimates of the U.S.O.E. for the remaining science degrees. The resultant figures are highly suspect, but were used in making total estimates because no better basis for estimates of unemployment among new science graduates could be found.
1. Unemployment Rates for Scientists, Spring 1971 (NSF 71-26)
3. Unemployment Rates for Engineers, June-July 1971 (NSF 71-33)
4. How Many Engineers? Engineering Manpower Bulletin, No. 5, Engineering
Manpower Commission, July 1966
Survey Results, Engineering Manpower Commission, September 1971
6. Starting Salaries for Chemists, Chemical Engineers by Dave Roethel,
CHEMICAL & ENGINEERING NEWS, October 25, 1971
7. ACS Academic Survey Report,
ring, 1971, American Chemical Society
8. Summary Report, Survey of Physics Bachelor's Degree Recipients,
1969-70, American Institute of Physics, Pub. No. R-211.2, February 1971