# Betting on the new JFP

A more light-hearted post: what are the chances of a JFP significantly lighter than last year? I hereby stipulate: ‘lighter’ means 90% or less of the total number of ads for last year in the October issue. For the record, the printed version had 267 job postings. A little math shows that what I’m asking is if the number will be 240 or less. Free drink at either the pacific or central (aka ‘the cool regional meetings’) from me for the first 5 winners!

#### Betting on the new JFP — 15 Comments

1. 90%? No problem. I’m betting the (way) under. If it’s under 50% how many drinks do I get?

2. for you, a special deal! secret till then though…

3. I’ll say “over”. Someone needs to buy you a drink, Jon, after picking up Juan and Jeremy’s tabs. See you in Chicago.

4. Does anyone have data on how many non-canceled searches there were last year? I’ll place a pair of conditional bets – if the number of non-canceled searches last year was 235 or greater, then I bet “over”, and if the number of non-canceled searches last year was under 235, then I bet “under”.

(By a “canceled search” I mean one that was called off before making any offers. Our search at USC last year ended up in the odd position of making some offers but not hiring anyone.)

5. Kenny, at least you don’t lose anything by your bets, but you know that the bets you are making assures no free drinks for you! There ought to be a theorem in the neighborhood here: call it a quasi-dutch book theorem. Unless of course your preference is not to have a drink even if free…

6. I’ll go under. I’ll guess 227.

Does someone get a really big drink if they guess the number exactly?

7. Restricting myself to tt positions, I’m betting US: 200 and DK: 0.

8. The ratio of JFP-advertised jobs listed in the paper-JFP-only to jobs listed in the paper and web-only combined has been steadily decreasing from 3/4 to 1/2 so, given that that trend might be continuing, we should let that temper our discouragement about the expected lower numbers in the paper-only version of the Oct JFP tomorrow (though I grant that a drop to 120 paper-only is more than the usual steady decline).

JFP Issue (paper-only/total listed)

2005 Oct (363/459)
2005 Nov (239/326)
2006 Oct (332/410)
2006 Nov (252/408)
2007 Oct (347/502)
2007 Nov (279/405)
2008 Oct (267/560)
2008 Nov (187/396)

9. I hadn’t seen those numbers before!

Most people say the job market in Philosophy is getting tighter. But from those numbers, it appears the number of jobs has been increasing for the past three years. (October jobs increase substantially each year, November jobs shrink by just a few, less than 10 each of the three years.)

What gives?

10. Do we know how many are online?

11. There are currently 256 including the web-only ads. And that’s on the day the Oct JFP is published. It looks like the fraction of paper-only to total ads will be significantly smaller than one half for this year’s Oct JFP. Unfortunately, it also looks like the total will still be considerably smaller than the 560 total from last year’s Oct JFP.