UPDATE 2: Professor Lassiter has agreed to keep an eye on changes at PhilJobs and provide an updated summary next week if warranted.
PhilJobs’ “Appointments in Philosophy” lists 30 tenure-track, 7 fellowship, and 5 “other” placements for the 2020-21 job market season, according to a write-up by Charles Lassiter (Gonzaga).

As he observes, “2021 is trending way below average”:

Professor Lassiter clarifies:
UPDATE 1: There’s some chatter online about hires that haven’t made the PhilJobs Appointments page, suggesting that the above may be a little overly negative. To help us all get a clearer picture, people who have been hired / placement directors / departments that have hired should communicate the relevant details to PhilJobs. Thanks. Placement directors, take note: “PhilJobs: JFP makes available a dedicated system to assist placement officers in maintaining their department’s placement record.”
[graph by Charles Lassiter, slightly edited]

  • VAP positions and placements took a big hit, which is unfortunate since these positions are one way in which newly-minted PhD’s get their foot in the job market door
  • We’re likely going to be looking at a big backlog of job seekers next year

You might notice that there aren’t any placements for visiting positions in 2020 or 2021, but we know that there were visiting positions advertised. What does this mean? We know that, as of November 2020, there were only 5 visiting positions advertised. We also know that PhilJobs is a source of information about the job market that is timely but gappy: not everyone posts their placements on PhilJobs or PhilPeople. Given that there were so few visiting positions advertised for this year, it’s not surprising that there are no posts for VAP placements.

You can read his whole post here.

What should we think about this data, together with the low number of jobs advertised this past season? Among other things, Professor Lassiter remarks:

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