The American Historical Association Career Center’s recent report on employment data for the 2022–23 academic year reveals that the hiring of college history professors has been characterized as “lethargic but stable” since 2016.
Despite a significant drop in job postings during the pandemic due to austerity measures, there has been a rebound in hiring during the 2021–22 academic year, leading to steady job availability for historians.
Concerns in History Professor Job Market Trends
However, the report identifies two concerning trends: a notable decline in positions for “premodern” historians and a decrease in the number of tenure-track positions.
While there were 542 total job listings in the past year, the proportion of tenure–track jobs has decreased significantly, with only 8 percent of positions seeking historians with expertise in periods prior to 1500 CE.
This data suggests that academic job availability in history has returned to a state similar to that of the late 2010s, characterized as stable but insufficient.